State Sen. Hughes presents drag show bills in committee

Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Minneola) presented SB 12 and SB 1601 to the Committee for State Affairs.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 4:53 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas legislator presented two bills in a committee hearing Thursday which would place regulations on drag shows.

Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Minneola) presented SB 12 and SB 1601 to the Committee for State Affairs. The bills would regulate drag shows in the state of Texas, and both are targeted towards events regarding children and public spaces.

SB 12 seeks to prevent “sexually oriented performances” in public, specifically in front of children. They define “sexually oriented performance” as one featuring nudity; or a male performer exhibiting as a female or a female performer exhibiting as a male; and appealing to the prurient interest in sex.

The bill goes on to address sexually oriented performances in two types of settings; on public property, and in commercial areas. In both settings, the goal is to protect children from seeing these performances.

The bill puts the burden of controlling these events on municipalities. It says that they may not allow such events in public or in view of a child, however it states that municipalities are authorized to regulate such shows as they see fit.

Drag shows are not the only events that apply to this bill. Any event which meets the criteria given in the bill would be subject to the change.

SB 1601 seeks to limit events sponsored by the organization “Drag Queen Story Hour,” which have been widespread in recent news. These events are book readings for children done by people in drag, and several of these events have been hosted in municipal libraries in Texas.

The bill notes that municipal libraries receive funding and grants from the state. Funding for municipal libraries which host any event featuring people in drag would be cut if the bill were passed.

Testimony on the bills began at 3 p.m. and continued past 4:45 p.m. Thursday with speakers lined up to speak for and against the bills.