DeSantis Cracks Down on Marketing Sexually Explicit Shows to Children

Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration will investigate drag shows in Florida that occurred over Christmas and on Wednesday after reports accusing the shows of exposing children to sexually explicit content. Another show by performance company Drag Fans occurred at Clearwater on Thursday, which the state is also promising to look into.

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Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) said it is investigating the show in Fort Lauderdale, entitled “A Drag Queen Christmas,” after complaints that the sexually explicit performance was marketed to children. The department made clear that showing such a demonstration to children, let alone marketing it to them, is a crime.

“Exposing children to sexually explicit activity is a crime in Florida, and such action violates the Department’s licensing standards for operating a business and holding a liquor license.”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody touted the move on a recent airing of Fox and Friends, comparing the Florida executive’s energy and responsiveness to President Biden’s.

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“Look at the two differences between President Biden and Governor DeSantis, certainly energy in the executive in Florida is on full display. When folks are complaining, when there’s an allegation that children are being exposed to inappropriate material, whether that’s with a parent or not, I can tell you, as a judge and a former prosecutor, I saw all the time, parents against laws exposed children to explicit, sexually suggestive material. That doesn’t exempt anyone, a parent or a business, from liability for such behavior.”

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The Fort Lauderdale show marketed itself “All-Ages show,” though it admitted that it “may contain adult content.” Just days before the event, it was changed to “limited to patrons 18 years of age or over, unless accompanied by a parent.”

The DeSantis administration issued a warning for the Dec. 29 show in Clearwater. The DBPR told the venue, Ruth Eckerd Hall, that children cannot be exposed to “sexually explicit performances.”

 

“The Department has reason to believe that this drag show is of a sexual nature, involving the exposure or exhibition of sexual organs, simulated sexual activity, and/or the sexualization of children’s stories. To avoid action being taken against your license, it is your obligation to ensure that minors are prohibited from attending the Drag Fans drag show.”


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