At Safe Schools, we champion the right to free expression for everyone. We extend our heartfelt applause to U.S. District Judge David Hittner for upholding this fundamental right, ensuring that all Americans can express themselves freely. It’s crucial to challenge and stand against those who use toxic religiosity to marginalize or oppress certain groups. The bedrock of our democracy is the freedom for every individual to “be bold, live free, stay woke, and love all.” While some may choose a different path, their beliefs should never be imposed on the majority.
In a significant ruling, a Texas law perceived by many as a potential ban on drag shows was struck down. Signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott earlier in June, the law’s stated aim was to shield children from sexually explicit performances. Senate Bill 12, while not explicitly targeting drag, raised concerns within the drag community, with many fearing it would criminalize their art and curtail their freedom of expression.
The day the bill was enacted, Governor Abbott shared an article suggesting a public ban on drag performances, further fueling these concerns.
Judge Hittner’s decision, which temporarily halted the law’s implementation, underscored the importance of First Amendment protections, emphasizing that personal preferences, whether related to comedy, music, or drag, shouldn’t infringe upon these rights.
The ruling was met with widespread celebration, especially among LGBTQ advocates and drag performers. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, representing the plaintiffs, voiced their triumph on X, a social media platform. Texas drag performer Brigitte Bandit, a plaintiff, expressed her gratitude and relief.
Yet, the legal battle might not be over. State Attorney General Ken Paxton, the primary defendant, intends to appeal. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also hinted at potential future legislative efforts to curtail drag performances in Texas.
This situation in Texas isn’t unique. Republican legislators across over a dozen states are pushing to regulate drag performances, especially around minors. States like Montana and Tennessee have already enacted laws with such restrictions. Simultaneously, Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota, and Texas introduced legislation this year that might target or limit drag. It’s worth noting that Tennessee’s drag law was deemed unconstitutional earlier this year, while the laws in Arkansas and Florida remain unenforceable due to ongoing legal battles.
By: Harold Marrero
Chief Operating Officer
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