Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is set to ban drag shows from public property in the state — a move that she says will protect children and only is controversial in the “radical left’s woke dystopia.”
The Republican governor is poised to sign a bill that would define drag shows as “adult-oriented performances, which passed in the state’s House panel on Wednesday and calls for them to be banned from public property, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
“I think we have to do everything — I’ve been very clear and talked about this pretty extensively — to protect children. I think that’s what this bill does,” Sanders said last month.
Sanders’ spokeswoman Alexa Henning told the Washington Post that the bill is not aimed at “banning anything,” but is about “protecting kids” from being exposed to “sexually explicit drag shows.”
“Only in the radical left’s woke dystopia is it not appropriate to protect kids,” she told the newspaper.
The bill defines a drag show as someone dancing, singing, and lip-syncing to an audience of two or more people while using a different gender identity than the one given at birth.
The performers use “clothing, makeup, or other accessories that are traditionally worn by members of and are meant to exaggerate the gender identity of the performer’s opposite sex.”
Supporters and opponents of Drag Story Hour gather outside of the event in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.
Bryan Olin Dozier/NurPhoto/Shutt
Democratic Sen. Clarke Tucker has slammed the bill as unconstitutional.
“The truth is, this bill is not about governing…it’s about bullying,” he said.
Republican Rep. Mary Bentley said the intent of the bill is not to target trans people or theatrical shows, such as the Broadway production “Tootsie,” but to protect kids from sexually explicit performances, the Gazette reported.
Some politicians, like Democratic Sen. Clarke Tucker, have slammed the bill as unconstitutional.
Bryan Olin Dozier/NurPhoto/Shutt
“We’re not trying to be anti-anybody,” she said.
Sanders, who was sworn in last month as the first female governor of Arkansas, has already issued executive orders that would prohibit critical race theory in public schools and the use of the term “Latinx,” a gender-neutral term that substitutes the letter “o” in Latino, in government documents.
“Ethnically insensitive and pejorative language has no place in official government documents or government employee titles,” her executive order states.
“The truth is, this bill is not about governing…it’s about bullying,” Sen. Tucker said.
“The government has a responsibility to respect its citizens and use ethnically appropriate language, particularly when referring to ethnic minorities,” it says.
“One can no more easily remove gender from Spanish and other romance languages than one can remove vowels and verbs from English,” the executive order continues.
“It is the policy of the Governor’s administration to prohibit the use of culturally insensitive words for official state government business,” it adds.
Eric Reese, the state manager for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the US, told the Washington Post that the new legislation and executive orders are meant to send a message that they’re “choosing a side in this culture war.”
* Article from: The New York Post