Arkansas

Arkansas bill seeks to classify drag shows as strip clubs

 

Senators from Arkansas passed legislation restricting drag show venues, proposing that they be classified the same as strip clubs and adult theaters.

The bill passed Tuesday on a 26-9 party line, with six senators opposed to the bill being Democrats. The bill bans drag shows in public places.

Asked if Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders supports the bill, spokeswoman Alexa Henning said children should be protected, but did not indicate whether the governor would sign the bill.

“Governor Sanders believes we should protect and educate children, not indoctrinate them,” Henning said. “It’s time to let kids be kids again.”

ARCANSAS LAW CLASSIFYING DRAG SHOW AS “ADULT” BUSINESS IS ADVANCED IN LEGISLATIVE GLORY

The bill will now go to the Republican-backed Arkansas House.

Opponents of the bill say it singles out certain groups of people.

“It seems to me that you are trying to aim a target at the backs of people who, in your opinion, are not normal,” said Democratic Senator Stephanie Flowers.

ARKANSAS INTRODUCES NEW LAW DEFINITIONING DRAGS SHOW AS ‘ADULT BUSINESS’ IN ACCORDANCE WITH LEGAL CODE

Specifically, the bill would classify venues that host drag performances as adult-oriented businesses, banning them from being within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, schools, parks, and libraries.

The bill defines a drag show as dancing, singing, lip-synching in front of an audience of two or more people using a gender identity other than that given at birth and “using clothing, makeup or other accessories traditionally worn by members and intended to exaggerate the gender identity of the opposite sex of the performer.”

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Democratic Senator Clark Tucker called the bill unconstitutional and compared it to bullying.

“The truth is, this bill isn’t about governance… it’s about intimidation,” Tucker said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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