Saturday, June 25, 2022

“This is the man we need”: Ron DeSantis was praised for wanting to investigate parents who take kids to drag shows

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“This is totally inappropriate. That’s something kids shouldn’t be exposed to,” DeSantis said of the drag queens and kids video

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the Child Protection Agency to investigate parents who take their children to drag shows. DeSantis’ comments came after viral videos of the Dallas event “Drag Your Kids to Pride” sparked outrage among conservatives and the right. In the videos, drag performers danced and walked down the aisle in the middle of the room and could be seen taking money from children.

During a press conference on Wednesday, June 8, DeSantis said he had asked his people to look into the idea. “We have child protection laws on the books. We have laws against child endangerment.” “Children used to be taboo. Everyone used to agree,” DeSantis continued. “Now it looks like there is a concerted effort to expose children to more and more things that are not age appropriate.” It’s something kids shouldn’t be exposed to,” DeSantis said of the video. “And that’s probably how we have the ability to deal with something like this if something like this happens,” DeSantis said.

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The debate over whether children should be allowed to watch drag shows began after an event that took place at the Mr. Misster bar in Dallas on Saturday, June 4th. Children also walked down the aisle with the drag dancers during the show. Several images and images from the event were shared on Twitter and several children could be seen in the middle of a dance floor. In front of the kids is a drag queen with a sign behind her that reads, “It doesn’t lick itself!”

The event caused outrage among people and protesters chanted “Christ Is King” outside the venue of the Drag Your Kids To Pride show and some carried signs reading “Stop Nursing The Children” and “Stop It Kids exploit” and similar variations. The show brought a clash between right-wing anti-LGBTQ+ protesters, parents, attendees at the event and police on Saturday afternoon, June 4.

DeSantis isn’t the only one considering intervening in the matter. On June 6, Texas State Assemblyman Bryan Slaton (R) announced that he intends to introduce a bill that would ban drag shows in the presence of minors during the upcoming session of the state legislature. “Drag shows are no place for a child,” the Republican wrote to lawmakers on Twitter. “I would never take my kids to a drag show, and I know Speaker Dade Phelan and my Republican colleagues wouldn’t either.” In the statement, Slaton said the bill was a response to “news and video about the weekend in which Texas underage children were exposed to inappropriate adult sexual content.”

DeSantis’ comments were followed by other Republican lawmakers. Colorado’s Lauren Boebert and Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene also argued that all underage drag shows should be “illegal.”

Republican officials in Texas and Florida even went so far as to announce plans for proposed legislation that would bar children from attending the events. “I will propose legislation to charge a felony and end the parental rights of any adult who brings a child to these kinky sex shows aimed at FL children,” Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini tweeted. “When will the sexualization of children stop?”

Some opponents disagreed with the criticism of drag shows, arguing that drag shows are “supportive environments” for LGBTQ youth to express themselves. Florida Rep. Carlos Smith, a gay Democrat who has previously been critical of DeSantis’ actions toward LGBTQ Floridians, wrote on Twitter that he and his husband hired a drag queen to perform in front of children at their wedding. “Why doesn’t tough guy #DeSantis come and arrest us?” Schmidt tweeted. “We will wait. Our drag queens are going nowhere! Happy #Pride”

Though there were many dissenters, DeSantis also found support from many people on social media. One wrote that he would like DeSantis to be his VP: “Dear Desantis. Would love Trump and him together. I don’t think DeSantis just talked to talk, he took the walk, he made some pretty big changes for the better in his condition. I’d love to support him as vice president.” One had a warning for him: “The problem with this is that CPS is often suspected of child trafficking itself. Again, a government agency investigating could do more damage. He has to choose carefully , who should conduct the investigation!” A third agreed, saying: “He’s right!! This is perversion on a grand scale!” Another wrote, “Trump needs to pass the torch. This is the man we need.”

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