Controversial bill that will ban children from drag shows and fine businesses passes House panel

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida House panel has approved a bill some believe is aimed at blocking venues from letting kids into drag shows, while others believe the bill is unconstitutional.

Republicans said the bill will protect children and make it illegal for businesses to allow parents to bring their kids to “adult live performances.”

The measure would allow state regulators to suspend the liquor license of businesses that violate the law.

Local business owners are concerned about how the measure could impact them.


One of the bill sponsors said the parents will not be held responsible for bringing their own children into restaurants, theatres, or bars but instead, it’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure the parents don’t bring their children into that business.

The right for Jason Lambert to sell drinks or run his business could disappear if someone else decides to bring their child into the Hammered Lamb for a drag show.

“They can decide whether they’re going to take your license away based on what they deem as offensive or lewd,” Lambert said.

That’s under the Protection of Children bill which passed its second committee today.

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Republican Randy Fine supported the bill and said, “No, a parent will not have the right to take their child to adult entertainment as defined in this bill.

The bill defines this as any show performed in front of a live audience and depicts or simulates nudity sexual conduct, and activities that show fake or real body parts.

“Where does it stop? Are they going to start restricting people from watching the Grammy’s where you see an artist performing?” attorney Mark Nejame said. “A Cardi B or Megan the Stallion who is performing exactly on tv, what is being restricted by these statutes.”

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“It’s unconstitutional. You’re not going find a court in the land that’s going to sustain this,” Nejame added.

Penalties include a $5,000 fine for the first violation, $10,000 for the second, and a 1,000 fine per child found within the location.

The House measure has one more committee stop before it can be considered by the full chamber, and the Senate passed its version of the bill on Tuesday along party lines.

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