A Texas state representative has sent a letter to the Dallas City Council requesting that potential violations of state law by an LGBTQ event attended by children be investigated.
Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) wrote to council members on September 25, “As a member of the Texas House of Representatives, I am reaching out to you regarding the Texas Latino Pride event held at Reverchon Park located at 3505 Maple Avenue in Dallas on September 16, 2023.”
“I believe children were harmed at this event in violation of the Texas Penal Code,” he continued. “Children were present and witnessed disgusting, obscene content that shows individuals committing offenses described in Section 43 of the Texas Penal Code.”
Section 43 of the Texas Penal Code pertains to laws about public indecency.
As reported by The Dallas Express, the Texas Latinx Pride Fest was marketed as being open to people of “all ages, backgrounds, and identities.” Protesters picketed the event, objecting to the presence of children at an event with scantily clad adults dancing provocatively.
Rep. Shaheen identified several laws under §32 of the penal code that might have been violated during the event.
One statute explained, “It is a state jail felony if a person ‘knowing its content and character, wholesale promotes or possesses with intent to wholesale promote any obscene material.’”
“In this case, it is clear that the event organizers knew exactly what children would see and that they meant to promote it to children,” Shaheen noted.
“Under a similar statute … it is a Class A misdemeanor for a person to display harmful material to a minor if the person is reckless about whether a minor is present who would be offended or alarmed by the display,” the lawmaker continued. “Simply glancing at one of the many images of the event shows that the event appealed to the sexual, prurient interest of a minor.”
“The images, as well, show that the event was patently offensive in nature to prevailing standards in Dallas and Texas,” he claimed. “Lastly, there is zero social value that minors can possibly receive watching grown men parade around in BSDM underwear.”
“As Dallas elected city officials, you must ensure these crimes against children are prosecuted,” Shaheen urged. “Other like-minded individuals in your city should be on notice that holding such an event in Dallas is an illegal violation of the Texas Penal Code and could have serious criminal penalties.”
“Duty requires that you investigate this matter immediately,” he concluded. “Please follow that duty for the sake of our children.”
Shaheen also sent the letter to Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia and Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot.
Dallas County seemingly promoted and participated in the event, with the Health and Human Services department advertising free mpox vaccines along with free $25 Walmart gift cards. Furthermore, the county government directed people to the registration page.
One of the organizers of the Texas Latinx Pride Festival, Jacob Reyes, defended the event, arguing that it is necessary to celebrate Latino members of the LGBTQ community “because Latin culture is so ingrained in traditionalism and conservatism,” per The Dallas Morning News.
“Despite state legislative setbacks, we are really focusing here on this Latino pride to really amplify the voices that we believe matter in our community — those drag voices, those trans voices,” he said, appearing to reference Texas’ Senate Bill 12. SB 12 would make sexually oriented performances in the presence of minors illegal, but a permanent injunction against the legislation was issued on Tuesday, as reported by The Dallas Express.
“We will not back down in terms of what it means to be openly proud and openly queer,” Reyes continued.