TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — A new bill sponsored by Sen. Clay Yarborough (R-Nassau) gives the state permission to revoke licenses of businesses that admit children to what are classified as "adult live performances.”
Yarborough also wants criminal liability for offenders. A violation of the prohibition contained in SB 1438 would be a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in prison and a fine up to $1,000.
“I've introduced this bill because of the increasing content across all kinds of media that’s inappropriate for young children. As a dad of young children myself, I feel these concerns. We need to let kids be kids,” Sen. Yarborough said.
Sen. Linda Stewart (D-Orange County) challenged him by asking if perhaps the language of the bill is too vague. She pointed to examples of children going to see Broadway plays such as Moulin Rouge or Rent that also display sexual performances.
“There are certainly Broadway shows out there that have sexual content out… I’m not sure how this would affect high school performances of plays like Rent as well,” she stated.
Sen. Yarborough responded that we already have policies that protect children in schools from exposure to overly lewd content.
Debate between senators was followed by testimony from audience members, most of whom were drag performers. “Momma Ashley Rose” from Miami delivered an emotional testimony in opposition of the bill. He claimed that legislative actions like this cause him and his friends to receive death threats on a daily basis. “All we’re here to do is spread a message of love and acceptance,” he proclaimed.
The bill passed along party lines with Democrats voting no, and now it’s heading to the Senate Rules Committee.