Florida Drag Show Law Won’t Be Considered Until Next Spring

ORLANDO, Florida (TodayNews) — A trial to determine whether Florida’s new anti-drag show law is constitutional will not begin until next spring.

A document posted in federal court in Tallahassee late last week shows that the trial will not begin until early June 2024. It will last two days and will be decided by a judge, not a jury.

The law, championed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has been shelved for now. Last month, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction barring its enforcement pending trial. The State of Florida appealed the decision.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell issued an order clarifying that the injunction applies to all establishments in Florida, not just the restaurant that sued the state for challenging the law’s constitutionality.

The new law penalizes venues for allowing children to attend “adult live performances”. While it does not list drag shows, the author of the law stated that it is directed towards these performances. Venues that break the law can be fined and may have their liquor licenses suspended or revoked. Individuals may also be charged with an administrative offense.

The lawsuit was filed by the owner of Hamburger Mary’s restaurant and bar in Orlando, which regularly hosts drag shows, including family shows on Sundays to which children are invited. The restaurant owner said the law was too broad, was written vaguely, and violated First Amendment rights with its scary language.

Before announcing his 2024 Republican presidential nomination, DeSantis made anti-LGBTQ+ legislation a large part of his agenda as governor. Other bills he signed banned gender-specific childcare and restricted the discussion of personal pronouns in schools.

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