Three bills introduced in the Arizona
Senate seek to restrict drag shows.
State Senator Anthony Kern, a
Republican, has introduced two bills. One proposed law, SB 1028,
would define drag as adult content, while another, SB 1030, would
prohibit drag performances during certain hours, putting drag shows
in the same category as adult performances.
Kern's bills would effectively ban
popular events such as drag queen story hours and drag brunches.
Senator John Kavanagh, a Republican,
has sponsored a bill, SB 1026, that would ban state funds for drag
shows targeting minors.
Speaking with Phoenix's Fox10, Kavanagh
said that his bill targets sexually explicit drag shows.
“My bill doesn't ban drag shows,”
told the outlet. “My bill doesn't even say parents can't take
their kids to drag shows, although I would be quite disturbed to hear
that a parent was doing that, if it's a type of drag show that has
very racy simulated sexual acts that some of them have. But all my
bill does is say that state money, taxpayer funds, can't fund a drag
show if it targets children.”
Richard Stevens, who performs as Barbra
Seville, told Fox10 that any art form could cross the line.
“I don't think if you walked up to
someone at the supermarket today and said, 'Hey, what's a problem
facing you and your family?' I bet they would list 15-20 things
before they ever got around to drag shows,” Stevens said.
A second bill introduced by Kavanagh,
SB 1001, would require written parental permission for a school
employee to refer to a student by pronouns that differ from their
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, said in a statement that it
“strongly opposes” these bills and “urges the lawmakers behind
them to stop attacking our community and instead focus on real issues
The bills could gain traction in the
Arizona House and Senate, which are controlled by Republicans. But
Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, is unlikely to lend her support.