The governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has announced plans to outlaw drag shows on state-owned property. She claims this will safeguard children and is only problematic in the “radical left’s woke dystopia.”
A law that would designate drag shows as “adult-oriented performances,” and ban them from public land is about to be signed by the Republican governor. The bill passed a state House panel on Wednesday.
Sanders stated last month, “I think we have to do everything — I’ve been very clear and talked about this pretty extensively — to protect children. I think that’s what this bill does.”
The bill, according to Sanders’ spokeswoman Alexa Henning, is not intended to outlaw anything, but rather to protect children from being exposed to sexually explicit drag performances.
She further stated, “Only in the radical left’s woke dystopia is it not appropriate to protect kids.”
The performers use “clothing, makeup, or other accessories that are traditionally worn by members of and are meant to exaggerate the gender identity of the performer’s opposite sex.”
Sen. Clarke Tucker, a Democrat, has denounced the bill as being unlawful.
“The truth is, this bill is not about governing, it’s about bullying,” he claimed.
According to Republican Rep. Mary Bentley, the goal of the legislation is to shield children from explicit sexual acts rather than to target transgender persons or theatrical productions like the Broadway play “Tootsie.”
“We’re not trying to be anti-anybody,” she declared.
Sanders, the first female governor of Arkansas who was sworn in last month, has already issued executive orders that forbid the teaching of critical race theory in public schools and the use of the gender-neutral word “Latinx” in official papers.
Her executive order notes that “Ethnically insensitive and pejorative language has no place in official government documents or government employee titles.The government has a responsibility to respect its citizens and use ethnically appropriate language, particularly when referring to ethnic minorities.One can no more easily remove gender from Spanish and other romance languages than one can remove vowels and verbs from English. It is the policy of the Governor’s administration to prohibit the use of culturally insensitive words for official state government business.”
Eric Reese, state manager for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy organization in the US, said that the new laws and executive directives signal that the government is “choosing a side in this culture war.”