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Republican Lawmakers File Bills to Protect Children from Exposure to Drag Shows

Bills in the Florida House and Senate make it easier for the state to crack down on businesses that permit minors entrance to sexualized performances.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — New laws combating the disturbing trend of sexualizing children through drag shows could be on the way to Florida soon.

“Protection of Children” bills filed in the State House and Senate last week would allow the state to revoke or suspend licenses from businesses that knowingly permit youth entry into an “adult live performance.”  

The twin bills specify that “adult live performance” refers to shows that “depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, specific sexual activities lewd conduct, or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts.” The text adds that sexualizing children in this way “constitutes an immediate, serious danger to the public.”

“Unfortunately, we’ve got adult entertainers, men dressing up as women, that think it’s okay to perform sexual programs before children in the state of Florida. That’s not going to happen and we’re going to have this legislation to make sure it stops,” Rep. Randy Fine (R-Brevard), who filed HB 1423, told News 6 in Orlando.

The new laws would grant the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) power to fine, suspend, or revoke the licenses of establishments that are found violating the state statutes. If passed, the laws would go into immediate effect.

“There’s no parental right to child abuse and exposing children to adult sexual performances is child abuse, and if people do that, there’s going to be consequences,” Fine added.

Sen. Clay Yarborough (R-Jacksonville) filed SB 1438 alongside Sen. Keith Perry (R-Gainesville).


The legislation comes days after the City of Naples approved a permit for the Naples Pride Fest to conduct a sexualized performance by cross-dressing men in a public park downtown.

In January, organizers canceled an attempt at the world’s Largest “Drag Queen Story Time” following The Florida Standard’s reporting.

Weeks prior, Governor Ron DeSantis reminded several Florida venues hosting a national “Drag Queen Christmas” tour of existing laws that prohibit exposing children to harmful sexual content.

The show simulated an abortion on stage and frequently engaged with children in the audience. Following the tour stops, the state launched investigations into venues that permitted children and subsequently revoked the liquor license of Plaza Live Orlando. Florida Democrats responded to the governor’s actions by calling him a fascist.

The Florida Standard also reported on two “all ages” drag shows in Jacksonville late last year, including one that drew protests.

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