Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration has launched an investigation into a holiday drag show in Ft. Lauderdale that allegedly displayed sexual content to children.
The show, “A Drag Queen Christmas,” was held at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and according to multiple complaints received by the administration, was “marketed to children” and featured “sexually explicit” performances.
Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) announced their probe into the event on Wednesday.
“The Department is actively investigating this matter, including video footage and photographs from the event,” the governor’s press secretary, Bryan Griffin, explained in a statement. “DBPR will, like in other cases, take action.”
The department also said it plans to share the findings of the probe with the state Department of Law Enforcement.
A spokesperson for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts noted that the event was limited to patrons 18 and older — unless they were accompanied by a parent, at least, which appears to make hardly any difference as to the question of whether or not minors were being exposed to vulgar, sexually graphic content at a live performance.
The venue faces the loss of its liquor license and ability to operate as a business in the state.
The Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation, which was set to host “Drag Queen Christmas” on Dec. 28, was warned with a letter from the DBPR notifying them that it had reason to believe the show contained explicit sexual content, including “the sexualization of children’s stories.
The department warned the venue of their obligation to ensure minors were not permitted entry to the performance.
The DeSantis administration has targeted drag shows that include perverse content for all-ages audiences as part of its broader full-frontal attack on the sexualization of children. This agenda has ranged from overseeing the passage of legislation that banned sexuality education =from younger grades to barring so-called “gender-affirming” care for minors.
In July, the DBPR targeted the drag bar Miami’s R House Wynwood where a viral video showed a toddler being led around by the hand of a half-naked, transgender dancer, taking issue with a regular, all-ages brunch drag show it hosts on the weekend.
At the time, the department stated in a complaint that “Respondent is not merely aware that young children attend the Brunch, but specifically markets the Brunch performances to young children or to families with young children.”
According to Florida law, the agency can suspend a business’ liquor license if the license holder is found to be “maintaining a nuisance on the licensed premises,” or “becomes manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people.”
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