Thursday, August 03, 2023

Texas's anti-drag law to be challenged in court by ACLU, other defendants

Your turn, Texas.

From The Advocate:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas sued the Texas Attorney General and other defendants on Wednesday to prevent Senate Bill 12 from taking effect on September 1. It would ban drag performances in most public venues if permitted to move forward. In the ACLU’s lawsuit, the group asserts that SB 12, which includes a ban on drag performances, violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments and threatens Texans’ livelihoods and free expression. For artists and those who support them, the ban targets any performance that could be construed as “sexual” and imposes criminal penalties, including a year in jail. Many constitutionally protected performances could be censored by this law, such as touring Broadway plays and professional cheerleading routines or karaoke nights and drag shows, the ACLU said in a statement. 

 From LGBTQNation

The plaintiffs include Houston Pride organizer The Woodlands Pride, Abilene Pride Alliance, Extragrams, LLC, 360 Queen Entertainment LLC, and drag artist Brigitte Bandit. 

 “Texas queens and kings from across our great state have been targets of threats and misinformation as a result of the anti-drag law,” Bandit said in a statement. “We must reject their attempts to divide us and continue to come together in our truth and power to support each other as Texans should.”

 “Long live Texas drag!” the popular drag queen added. Woodlands Pride president Jason Rocha characterized SB 12 as censorship aimed at erasing LGBTQ+ visibility. “Censoring drag is censoring free speech,” said Rocha said. 

“The Woodlands Pride was formed to help amplify the voices and representation of all, specifically the LGBTQIA+ community. Drag is a symbol of expression, and the freedom to express yourself is quintessential to human nature. We know this ban is aimed specifically at our community. 

 LGBTQNation also pointed out that: 

 Similar drag bans have been blocked by courts in Florida, Tennessee, and Montana for containing “overbroad” provisions that violate people’s rights to free speech and due process.

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