Mr. Misster, a bar near Highland Park, hosted a “Drag Your Kids to Pride” event on June 4. In addition to drawing protesters to the door, it also drew responses from some Texas officials seeking to prohibit drag events for children.
State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) promised to file an outright ban on such events once the legislature convenes in 2023.
“The events of this past weekend were horrifying and show a disturbing trend in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualizing young children,” Slaton stated.
Other Republicans in the state House suggested that state law might already prohibit events like “Drag Your Kids to Pride.”
Prompted by a photo from a different event that shows a young girl putting money in the underwear of a female burlesque performer, Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) asked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to “look into potential criminal acts committed against children.”
“An immediate investigation by the Attorney General of Texas is needed if this photo was from the event at the bar in Dallas,” Schaefer wrote.
The new law, passed as Senate Bill (SB) 315, enjoyed bipartisan support. Authored by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), it was carried by Sens. César Blanco (D-El Paso), Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), and Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) in the Texas Senate.
“A sexually oriented business may not allow an individual younger than 18 years of age to enter the premises of the business,” the law reads.
However, the state’s definition of “sexually oriented business” may not include bars, even if they host events that could be interpreted as sexually oriented.
According to the law, a sexually oriented business means a commercial enterprise that offers a service or sells, rents, or exhibits items meant to provide sexual stimulation or gratification to the customer. It specifically names nude studios and adult bookstores as examples of such businesses.
Violators of the law face suspension or total cancellation of their liquor licenses. Sexually oriented businesses that do not serve liquor could also be sued by the state attorney general or local district attorney for committing a common nuisance.
A Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) spokesman said the agency was not aware of any law that would prohibit the admission of children to the Mr. Misster event as long as the bar did not serve the children alcohol.
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