Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Federal judge declares Texas anti-drag law unconstitutional. Various bigots have online meltdowns.

From The Texas Tribune:

Texas cannot enforce a new law that restricts some public drag shows, a federal judge said Tuesday in declaring the legislation unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge David Hittner found Senate Bill 12 “impermissibly infringes on the First Amendment and chills free speech.” The struck-down law prohibited any performers from dancing suggestively or wearing certain prosthetics in front of children. Hittner ruled that language discriminated based on viewpoint and is unconstitutionally overbroad and vague. 

 . . . Critics of the bill, though, say that Republican lawmakers and officials this year have incorrectly — and unfairly — portrayed all drag performances as inherently sexual or obscene. While SB 12 was originally billed as legislation that would prevent children from seeing drag shows, the final version did not directly reference people dressing as the opposite gender. 

 However, Republican leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, made it clear that drag shows were the bill’s target — comments and history that Hittner wrote “the court cannot ignore.” Last month, Hittner temporarily blocked SB 12 from taking effect on Sept. 1 after a two-day hearing for a lawsuit filed against the state by a drag queen and LGBTQ+ groups.

LGBTQ+ Texans, advocates, artists and business groups who sued the state, argued that the law discriminates against the content of performances and restricts equally protected free expression that is protected under the First and 14th Amendments. In Tuesday's 56-page ruling, Hittner noted a survey of court decisions "reveals little divergence from the opinion that drag performances are expressive content that is afforded First Amendment protection." 

 "Drag shows express a litany of emotions and purposes, from humor and pure entertainment to social commentary on gender roles," the ruling reads. "There is no doubt that at the bare minimum these performances are meant to be a form of art that is meant to entertain, alone this would warrant some level of First Amendment protection." Other states have passed similar legislation restricting drag performance, which have also been struck down by federal courts.

Basically, supporters of the bill claimed that they were merely trying to keep children from seeing sexually explicit performances.  However the bill defined drag performances as being sexually explicit, even if the drag queen is doing something as innocuous as reading to kids. 

Therein lies the rub so to speak. 

Texas will probably attempt to appeal the ruling, but this is still a tremendous victory. It sends a strong message to those who are constantly trying to undermine our lives in an effort to force us to live in accordance to their lurid prejudices. And speaking of those folks, they aren't happy. In fact, several of them have been busy raging on Twitter, accusing us (yet again) of "sexualizing children."

Poor babies. It's all they have.

 I actually like this one below. It's always good when the opposition gets so defeated that they put no effort in their lies. These are merely drag queens with kids. Nothing sexually explicit.