Florida Restaurant Sues DeSantis for Banning ‘Family Friendly’ Drag Shows
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is being sued by a restaurant after the state implemented a ban on “family friendly” drag shows.
Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grille in downtown Orlando launched the federal lawsuit Monday to end what it claims is “the continued oppression of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Under recently passed legislation implemented by Republican lawmakers in the state, premises in Florida have effectively been banned from allowing under-18s from attending sexually explicit drag shows, with venues that break the rule risking the possibility of fines as well as having their liquor licence revoked.
In announcing its challenge, the restaurant wrote Florida lawmakers are “creating a false narrative that drag queens are grooming and recruiting your children with no factual basis or history to back up these accusations.”
Marketed by Republicans as the “Protection of Children” act, the law has been implemented in an attempt to protect children in the state from performances that “simulates nudity, sexual conduct or specific sexual activities”.
According to a report by Reuters, Hamburger Mary’s has filed a federal lawsuit against the Florida governor in an attempt to block the law, arguing the bill in question has nothing to do with child protection.
“This bill has nothing to do with children, and everything to do with the continued oppression of the LGBTQ+ community,” the restaurant has said.
The lawsuit meanwhile alleges that the child protection law ultimately violates First Amendment rights in the state, and that it violates free speech protections “based on the identity of the speaker”.
DeSantis’ office has reportedly not yet responded to the lawsuit.
There are a dozen Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grille locations across the country, with four in Florida.