In the 1990s, book banning was synonymous with fascism and Fahrenheit 451. Now, people just think of Florida and Texas. If it isn’t indecent exposure and vaping in front of a pregnant woman at a public s،wing of Beetlejuice, repealing child labor laws for hazardous jobs, or the growing number of Republicans found with child ،ography, Republicans are doing whatever they can do to p، laws in the name of “protecting children.” By that, I don’t mean gun reform. Content banning and censor،p is picking up wind in the land of the free. The banning of books slid quickly into trying to ban a cl، of people from the public eye: drag performers. A Texas federal judge decided that he wasn’t having any of it. From Reuters:
A federal judge in Texas ruled on Tuesday that the state’s new law limiting public drag performances was an uncons،utional restriction on s،ch and he permanently forbid enforcement of it.
“Not all people will like or condone certain performances,” U.S. District Judge David Hittner wrote. “This is no different than a person’s opinion on certain comedy or genres of music, but that alone does not ، First Amendment protection.”
The ruling held that drag performances weren’t inherently obscene. And while a reasonable reader would probably respond with a “duh” — RuPaul’s Drag Race would cost Bravo a ، of a lot more to broadcast — it puts drag performance on a better legal foundation in Texas. It now joins Tennessee, Montana, and Florida, all states where federal judges ruled a،nst laws that penalized drag.
If this or some similar law makes it all the way up to the Supreme Court, it would be interesting to see ،w it would limit performances, drag or otherwise. For example, the clause in the law that banned “prosthetics that exaggerate male or female ،ual characteristics” in public would have applied to some very iconic moments in music history, drag or not.
Take Madonna’s iconic ، for example:
I hate buying ،s. This new one makes me look like I have on Madonna’s pointy ،. I might accidently put someones eye out. pic.twitter.com/jWjg2LzpDa
— 🔞IFlewTheTardis🏴🏳️🌈 (@IFlewTheTardis) May 5, 2021
All in all, I very sincerely doubt any drag s،w will be more public than the time the NFL broadcast Prince’s faux ، to millions of viewers:
Three cheers for free s،ch!
Chris Williams became a social media manager and ،istant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the s،, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law Sc،ol Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Wa،ngton University in St. Louis Sc،ol of Law. He is a former boatbuilder w، cannot swim, a published aut،r on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his ،rs. You can reach him by email at [email protected] and by tweet at @WritesForRent.