Arkansas’ state senate is advancing a bill whose mission is to protect children and prevent them from attending future drag shows. The bill would reclassify drag shows as “adult-oriented businesses” and require the status of legal adulthood to participate in the event.
Similarly, the same bill is proposing a ban of drag events on public property in a move to strike down the increasingly popular “drag show story hours” that often appear at libraries and are aimed specifically at young people.
Republican state Senator Gary Stubblefield, who introduced the bill, said he couldn’t think of how having children involved in those story hours could produce anything good.
“I can’t think of anything good that can come from taking children and putting them in front of a bunch of grown men who are dressed like women,” he said.
The bill has already cleared the first hurdle of the legislative process. It passed in the heavily-controlled Republican Senate by a vote of 29-6. It next moves to the House, which is also dominated by Republicans. There, Republicans have an 82-18 majority.
Lastly, the bill would go to the desk of newly-elected governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has already taken a touch stance on including Critical Race Theory in public school classrooms. She is expected to sign the bill into law.
Naturally, not everyone was thrilled with this development. Eric Reece, is the director of the Human Rights Campaign in Arkansas and he condemned the legislation now working its way through both chambers.
“Many drag performances – such as Drag Queen story hours at schools and libraries – are age appropriate for children and can teach important lessons like acceptance and openness,” he wrote in a statement.
“This is just another example of radical politicians in Arkansas spreading propaganda and creating more stigma, discrimination, and ultimately violence against transgender and non-binary people just to rile up extreme members of their base,” the statement continued.
The Daily Wire noted that Arkansas is not the only state to advance legislation aimed at protecting children. It wrote:
In addition to Arkansas, Republicans in Tennessee have proposed a similar drag queen ban that would prohibit minors from events and performances. The Volunteer State legislation also seeks to add drag performances to its list of adult-oriented businesses that would be unable to operate within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, or houses of worship.
The Tennessee bill would allow some exceptions, focusing specifically on performances that are sexual in nature, according to Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson.
Oklahoma and West Virginia have also explored legal routes to prevent drag shows from allowing minors to attend. The proposed Oklahoma legislation would include a fine if violated.
The Arkansas bill is just one of many legislative acts the Republican-controlled state is advancing with the aim to protect young people from left-wing ideology. After signing a bill banning CRT into law, Governor Sanders said that her tenure would not allow the “brainwashing” of children.
“As long as I am governor, our schools will focus on the skills our children need to get ahead in the modern world, not brainwashing our children with a left-wing political agenda,” she said.
"*" indicates required fields