Oklahoma Republicans try to move laws geared toward banning drag performances with children in attendance, in response to a invoice authored by Republican state Consultant Kevin West and launched to the state Home on Thursday.
Within the invoice, West claims that “drag queens or comparable entertainers” are among the many classes of artists who participate in “grownup cabaret performances,” primarily evaluating drag artists to topless dancers and strippers. He usually defines drag as “a male or feminine performer who adopts a flamboyant or parodic female persona with glamorous or exaggerated costumes and make-up.”
He goes on to recommend passing a regulation banning this type of efficiency from happening in a public property or location “the place the grownup cabaret efficiency may very well be seen by an individual who’s a minor.”
Any particular person discovered violating this regulation, West writes, may very well be punished with imprisonment for a time period no shorter than 30 days and not than two years, the fee of a advantageous of a minimum of $500 and not more than $20,000, or each.
From there, West takes the invoice one step additional, proposing the approval of laws banning drag queen story hour occasions—which he describes as “an occasion hosted by a drag queen who reads youngsters’s books and engages in different studying actions with minor youngsters current”—from being organized or seen in public, the place a baby may see them.
“It shall be illegal for an individual to arrange or authorize the viewing of a drag queen story hour on public property or in a location the place the drag queen story hour may very well be seen by an individual who’s a minor,” West proposes, whilst he writes that, by definition, drag queen story hour occasions are supposed to have youngsters as a part of their viewers.
Any particular person discovered violating this ban ought to be punished with imprisonment for a time period not exceeding one 12 months, a advantageous between $500 and $1,000, or each. Whereas being discovered responsible of performing “grownup cabaret” in entrance of a kid can be thought of a felony, West suggests that somebody discovered holding or internet hosting a drag queen story hour in entrance of a kid ought to be thought of responsible of a misdemeanor.
West requires the laws to return into impact on November 1, 2023.
Activist Erin Reed, who shared the doc on Twitter on Thursday, referred to as the invoice “past parody” and accused West of wanting “to outlaw flashy make-up in entrance of youngsters.”
The Oklahoma invoice is simply one of many newest makes an attempt made by Republican state lawmakers throughout the nation to restrict drag reveals, with legislators from Arizona, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas additionally proposing anti-drag legal guidelines in latest months.
West’s invoice mirrors an analogous proposal launched by Republican lawmakers in Arizona earlier this month, which needs to categorise drag as “grownup cabaret efficiency” and make it a misdemeanor to carry a drag efficiency in a public area. One other invoice was launched within the state earlier this month that seeks to ban the usage of state cash for drag reveals for anybody below 18.
The payments launched in each Arizona and Oklahoma, amongst others, slot in with the anti-LGTBQ sentiment lately fomented by conservative politicians throughout the nation.
Drag queen story hours, specifically, have been the goal of Republicans’ anger, with Florida Senator Marco Rubio final 12 months claiming that the occasions positioned “younger youngsters in shut proximity with adults who’re deliberately and explicitly sexualized.”
Newsweek reached out to West for remark.