Austin, Texas –
Texas will expand what it considers illegal public sexual performances, under a bill approved by state lawmakers late Sunday that feared artists would be used to criminalize make their performances.
The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature is part of a broader effort in Texas and other conservative states to crack down on drag performances and restrict LGBTQ2S+ rights. Texas earlier this month became the largest state to ban sex-determined care for minors, and lawmakers also approved another measure restricting transgender athletes from participating in sports. university.
The Texas bill on sexual content in performances was originally intended to ban children from attending drag performances. It was changed to remove specific references to pull programs, but it also broadened the scope of what would be illegal.
The bill would prohibit real or simulated groping, actual or simulated stimulation and the display of sex toys, if done in a “grossly” manner in front of minors or in public. And it includes a definition of sexual conduct that forbids wearing accessories or prostheses to enhance male or female form in front of minors or on public property.
Violators can face up to a year in prison, and businesses that hold concerts deemed illegal can be fined up to $10,000 for each violation.
Some drag performers and LGBTQ2S+ activists call the new restrictions too vague and worry they will be unfairly targeted. Supporters of the bill say it is necessary to protect children from viewing pornography, although some critics fear the ambiguous nature of the potential violations could make performances difficult. eroticism at rock concerts, professional sports cheerleaders, or even behavior at home.
The bill is now passed to Republican Governor Abbott, who is expected to sign it into law.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidency, earlier this month signed into law new restrictions on tug of war, allowing the state to revoke food and beverage business licenses of businesses that accept children to participate in adult performances.