TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida lawmakers advanced a bill today that punishes businesses that admit children to an “adult live performance.”
Critics say the bill is vague and could potentially ban drag shows in Florida, but its sponsor says this is about protecting children.
“We are protecting children who cannot unsee, unhear or inexperienced things to which they are exposed,” State Sen. Clay Yarborough said. “As lawmakers we are failing the children of Florida if we don’t step in.”
The bill’s language defines adult live performances as any presentation that depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, or specific sexual activities. Penalties would include fines in the thousands of dollars, misdemeanors and businesses being stripped of their licenses.
State Sen. Shevrin Jones called the bill a targeted attack on the LGBTQ+ community.
“Now all of a sudden, because this is a new hot topic and this is the new boogieman, all of the sudden everyone hates drag shows,” Jones said.
“This is yet another attempt to persecute the transgender community because they are the target de jour of state legislatures across the country,” State Sen. Tina Polsky added.
The House’s version of the bill, HB 1423 has two more committee stops before getting a floor vote.