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TX Bill To Let Minors Sue Drag Performers

State

Drag Queen | Image by WhiteHaven/Shutterstock

A member of the Texas Legislature has filed a bill that would enable minors to bring legal action against drag performers who knowingly perform inappropriately with children in attendance.

Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) filed House Bill 4378 to create a “cause of action for drag performances performed in the presence of a minor.”

The bill defines a drag performance as one “in which a performer exhibits a gender that is different than the performer’s gender recorded at birth using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers, and sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs in a lascivious manner before an audience.”

“Lascivious” is clarified to mean “conduct of a sexual nature that is offensive to community standards of decency. The term includes the intentional exposure of genitalia in the presence of a minor.”

Under Toth’s proposal, “An individual who attends a drag performance as a minor may bring an action against a person who knowingly promotes, conducts, or participates as a performer in the drag performance that occurs before an audience that includes the minor.”

The bill specifically notes, however, that the drag show must violate “the prevailing standard in the adult community for content suitable for minors” and the “person fails to take reasonable steps to restrict access to the performance by minors.

The statute of limitation is 10 years after the performance. If a suit is successful, the claimant may collect a statutorily required $5,000 fine, reimbursement for attorney’s fees, and “actual damages, including damages for psychological, emotional, and physical harm.”

The suit will fail, however, if a minor uses a fake identification card to enter the establishment or “the defendant reasonably believed the minor was at least 18 years of age at the time.”

The bill states, “It is not a defense to an action brought under this chapter that the minor was accompanied at the drag performance by the minor’s parent or guardian.”

The Dallas Express reached out to Rep. Toth for comment but did not receive a response before publication.

Some opponents have denounced the proposal. Erin Reed, a transgender activist, shared the language of the bill, claiming, “Texas has released a bounty hunter drag ban.”

Referring to the Texas Heartbeat Act, which established a similar cause of action for abortion, Reed suggested, “Anti-abortion techniques now target drag and trans people.”

“These bounties can easily be turned against trans performers. … It could ban a trans person singing karaoke. It could ban pride,” Reed concluded.

Drag performances in front of children have become a hot-button issue in Texas recently, leading Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to identify “banning children’s exposure to drag shows” as a legislative priority in the Senate, per The Dallas Express.

Kelly Neidert, an anti-drag show activist, supported Toth’s bill, telling The Dallas Express, “‘Kid-friendly’ drag shows have been occurring more frequently around the state, and children are being exposed to extremely sexual content when they attend.”

“Rep. Toth’s bill provides a way of holding people accountable if they continue to host these disturbing shows in the presence of minors,” she continued. “This is a great bill that will help protect Texas kids from harmful, explicit content.”

The Dallas Express also reached out to the national pro-LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Federation for its analysis of the bill but received no response prior to publication.

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ThisGuyisTom
ThisGuyisTom
15 days ago

To push sexualization memes on minors is child abuse, and a statement of a warped mental sickness. I like seeing the pushback against insanity.

L.B.
L.B.
15 days ago

So many other things to be worried about than drag queens, go to the churches and lock up the real enemy. This state needs to have real direction. Homelessness and property taxes are the biggest issue here.

Senior
Senior
Reply to  L.B.
14 days ago

go to the churches and lock up the real enemy.” Totally inappropriate comment.

Pap
Pap
Reply to  L.B.
14 days ago

So the moral decay of children is not important to you? A lot of those kids will end up being so screwed up in their minds, they will probably grow up adding to the homeless problem.

Bill
Bill
14 days ago

Its a start. Its a mental illness. Ban CRT and force parents to show up at PTA meetings. Prosecute criminals and have more discipline in schools. Taxpayers need to start standing up to the WOKE administration in Dallas or this city will be like Chicago. Its well on its way.

Soapboxmom
Soapboxmom
Reply to  Bill
14 days ago

Drag is for adults end of story. And, yes we need to prosecute criminals to the full extent of the law and have order in classrooms. Parents need to be involved and held accountable for doing their job. Teachers need much smaller class sizes and double the pay for what they do.

Last edited 14 days ago by Soapboxmom
Pap
Pap
14 days ago

Why do they do it the hard way. How about, “It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to attend drag shows.”. 21 would be even better, as is the law for purchasing alcohol. So just like if a liquor store sells alcohol to a minor, they lose their license, so should be the rule for the drag shows. They would need a license to operate with strict stipulations.

Soapboxmom
Soapboxmom
14 days ago

Drag is for adults period. No minors should be exposed to it. Drag is highly sexuallized and clearly only suitable for a mature audience. Schools need to keep it simple and teach children to be loving, kind and respectful of all without going into things that are clearly not age appropriate.

Robert Hernandez
Robert Hernandez
14 days ago

I’ll vote for this Bill.

Keepin it real!
Keepin it real!
14 days ago

Before anyone starts making comments about drag queens “sexualizing” children, please provide EVIDENCE before you open your pie hole. Men in drag has been going on for centuries. How many of you or your parents laughed at the Three Stooges, or Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot, or Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire, or Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie? Smearing drag queens is just the latest culture war RED MEAT thrown to the base….which means YOU.

Janet
Janet
Reply to  Keepin it real!
14 days ago

These are the same people who have no problem taking minors to a Gun Show, let their kids spend hours playing violent video games, then wonder why we have so many mass shootings.