May 22 (Reuters) – A Florida restaurant that puts on what it calls family-friendly drag shows sued Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida on Monday to suspend enforcement of a new law banning minors to attend such performances.
Hamburger Mary’s, an Orlando bar and restaurant that features drag shows, comedy sketches and dancing, filed a lawsuit in federal court in response to the law, which the Republican governor signed last week.
Senate Bill 1438 allows the state to fine or revoke the liquor license of an establishment that admits minors to a performance that “simulates nudity, sexual behavior or specific sexual activities “.
DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“This bill has nothing to do with children and everything to do with the continued oppression of the LGBTQ+ community,” the owners of Hamburger Mary’s wrote on Facebook.
The Facebook post offered a broader critique of DeSantis’ policies to eliminate books and lessons from public schools that reference LGBTQ themes or America’s history of racial oppression, asking, “When does it stop- does he?”
DeSantis, who is expected to announce he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination this week, has pursued policies in Florida that restrict LGBTQ rights.
He signed the Child Protection Bill the same day he also signed bills banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth and requiring transgender people to use gender-appropriate toilets at home. birth.
The lawsuit asks the court to block the law, saying it violates the constitutional right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.
“It prohibits protected speech based on the identity of the speaker,” the lawsuit said.
The law wrongly targets drag shows as deviant when they have become “part of the mainstream culture”, he said. “It’s a form of family entertainment, enjoyed by all.”
Reporting by Daniel Trotta. Editing by Gerry Doyle
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