Florida House panel targets drag shows

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A day after the Florida Senate passed its version of the bill, a House panel Wednesday approved a measure aimed at preventing children from seeing drag shows.

The measure (HB 1423) would prevent children from being admitted to an “adult live performance” and could lead to venues facing penalties for violations.


While the proposal doesn’t specifically single out drag shows, it comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration took steps such as filing a complaint against the Hyatt Regency Miami hotel for hosting a “Drag Queen Christmas” event in December, alleging minors were allowed to see the show.

The complaint seeks to have the hotel’s liquor license revoked. Also, other Republican-led states have targeted children going to drag shows.

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“I find the debate on this bill to be stunning,” House sponsor Randy Fine, R-Brevard County, said before the House State Administration & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee voted 10-5 to approve the bill Wednesday. “This bill is about children.”

But opponents have argued that parents should be able to make decisions about whether children attend events and say the proposal is part of a broader conservative attempt to take aim at LGBTQ people.

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Rep. Kristen Arrington, D-Kissimmee, described the bill Wednesday as “red meat to the right base.”

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 28-12 along party lines Tuesday to pass its bill.

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