TAMPA, Fla. – For at least the second time, organizers of an LGBTQ event in Florida canceled their activity because of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ crackdown on drag shows involving children.
Organizers of the Tampa Pride on the River event canceled the show because the Republican governor recently enacted laws punishing groups that allow children into sexually charged adult performances.
The annual event was scheduled for September.
“Really, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that this has happened, but you are going to be the generation to make the change,” Tampa Pride president Carrie West said.
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West called the decision “very sad.” That’s because “a lot of famous Ru Paul drag queens” visit Tampa to participate, said West, and “people come flying in for that event just to see the famous drag queens.”
Tampa Pride was “sickened” by the cancellation; on Facebook, the group added, “The law the governor signed into effect against LGBTQ+ community yesterday is sickening.”
Except, that is not true.
The bill DeSantis signed affects any such show and doesn’t specifically target LGBTQ events.
The law allows the state to punish those who are willfully “exposing children to an adult live performance with misdemeanor charges, fines, or revoked licenses.”
Such performances are defined as “any show, exhibition, or other presentation in front of a live audience which, in whole or in part, depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or specific sexual activities.”
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