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Proposed bill defines 'drag performances' as adult-oriented businesses

by Michael R. Wickline | January 9, 2023 at 2:49 p.m.
Drag performer Emma Lavin (center) attempts to find middle ground with protesters against a drag queen story time outside Old Nick’s Pub in Eugene, Ore., on Oct. 23. The art and entertainment form of drag has been miscast in recent months by right-wing activists and politicians who complain about the “sexualization” or “grooming” of children. (The Register-Guard via AP file/Chris Pietsch)


A bill filed Monday would define "a drag performance" as an adult-oriented business.

The bill would also bar an adult-oriented business from being located where minors can view what the adult-oriented business is otherwise offering to the public that qualifies it as an adult oriented-business.

The bill is Senate Bill 43, filed by Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch.

Existing state law defines an adult-oriented business as an adult arcade, an adult bookstore or video store, an adult cabaret, an adult live entertainment establishment, an adult motion picture theater, an adult theater, a massage establishment that offers adult services, an escort agency or a nude model studio.

Stubblefield said the aim of the bill "is to stop these drag queen shows" from being shown to minors in Arkansas.

"If they want adults, that's up to them," he said. "We have all kinds of laws to protect our kids."

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