Texas lawmakers pass bill banning kids from attending ‘sexually oriented’ drag shows

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – The Texas legislature approved a bill Sunday that will prohibit sexually explicit shows in front of minors, sending the bill to the governor’s desk.

In a…

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – The Texas legislature approved a bill Sunday that will prohibit sexually explicit shows in front of minors, sending the bill to the governor’s desk.

In a 87-54 vote, the state House approved Senate Bill 12, which would charge performers who violate the bill with a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The bill also passed the Senate Sunday and now heads to Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. 

“It is shocking to me that any parent would allow their young child to be sexualized by drag shows,” Republican state Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told the Dallas Morning News. “Children, who cannot make decisions on their own, must be protected from this scourge facing our state.”

The bill was revised Sunday to remove references to drag performances, replacing the language with “sexually orientated performance” and “sexual conduct,” though lawmakers say that the legislation intends to prohibit drag shows in front of minors, the Dallas Morning News reported. The bill defines “sexual conduct” as “sexual gesticulations using accessories or prosthetics that exaggerate male or female sexual characteristics.”

Businesses caught hosting a sexually explicit show where minors are present could face a $10,000 fine under the bill.

Critics of the legislation worry that it is too vague and that the definition of “sexual conduct” is too wide, the Texas Tribune reported

“The broadness could negatively implicate even the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders,” Democratic state Rep. Mary González told the outlet. “It can go into your homes and say what is allowed in your homes after the lines ‘commercial enterprise’ were stricken out.”

A Drag Queen performs during a show at the Swan Dive nightclub on March 20, 2023 in Austin, Texas. Controversy and debate over four bills seeking to restrict Drag shows in the state of Texas intensifies as lawmakers continue their proposals. Bills SB 8, SB 12, and SB1601 are scheduled for a hearing this Thursday. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

The approved legislation comes after a Texas “A Drag Queen Christmas” show was held in 2022, featuring partial nudity and sexual content while kids were present. Attendees included children around 10 years old who gave tips to the drag performers who exposed realistic prosthetic breasts and simulated sex acts.

After Tennessee became the first state to prohibit drag shows in places where children may be present, several red states are seeking to do the same; in March, Republican Arkansas Gov. Sarah Sanders signed a piece of legislation into law, prohibiting minors from viewing “adult-oriented shows” that feature performers who show genitalia or breasts and demonstrate “sexual activity.” Idaho lawmakers are considering a piece of legislation that would require event organizers or venues to take necessary steps to limit minors from attending shows that contain “sexual conduct,” allowing parents to sue the hosts of such events if children are allowed in.


“We will not tolerate our children being exposed to explicit, hyper sexualized content from any type of performer in any way in the great state of Texas,” Republican state Rep. Matt Shaheen, the sponsor of the bill, told the Dallas Morning News.