Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill into law that prohibits “sexualized performances and drag shows in the presence of a minor.”
The legislation, Senate Bill 12, passed the legislature in May with an 87-54 vote.
The bill applies to performances containing nudity and “the exhibition or representation, actual or simulated, of sexual acts,” or performances that appeal “to the prurient interest in sex … regardless of whether compensation for the performance is expected or received.”
Governor Abbott signed the bill into law on June 18. The law will now go into effect on September 1, 2023.
Businesses and venues that break the law will be fined up to $10,000 per violation. Performers who violate the law can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which will be punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
In a statement celebrating the legislature passing the bill in May, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said, “someone must push back against the radical left’s disgusting drag performances which harm Texas children.”
“I named SB 12 to be one of my top priorities this session because someone must push back against the radical left’s disgusting drag performances which harm Texas children,” Patrick said. “It is shocking to me that any parent would allow their young child to be sexualized by drag shows. Children, who cannot make decisions on their own, must be protected from this scourge facing our state.”
Rep. Matt Shaheen, who sponsored the bill, echoed the sentiments, saying, “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.”
Leftist organizations, of course, have pushed back on the bill — declaring that it is “homophobic.”