State House Advances Bill Restricting Public Drag Performances in Yet Another Attack on the LGBTQIA+ Community, Texas Freedom Network Responds

May 19, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt, [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House today voted to advance SB 12, which seeks to censor “certain sexually oriented performances” using broad definitions.

SB 12 passed through the State Senate on April 5. 

Texas Freedom Network Vice President of Programs Marti Bier (they/them) issued the following response​:

“With less than two weeks of the legislative session left, anti-LGBTQ lawmakers are not letting up on their prejudiced agenda. We refuse to be fooled by attempts to trick Texans into thinking this bill is not intended to target drag, and by extension, the LGBTQIA+ community that has found acceptance and chosen family through performance. Instead of focusing on protecting our kids from the imminent threat of gun violence, our representatives are busying themselves by spreading misinformation about drag performances and mislabeling a joyful art form. 

“To threaten drag artists and performers with jail time for exercising freedom of expression is a new low. We condemn the State House for wasting time on dog whistles instead of focusing what little time is left in this year’s session enacting meaningful legislation that makes Texas a better place for our kids.” 

Advocates worry this bill puts the LGBTQIA+ community in danger of discrimination and could make drag performances a criminal offense based on vague guidelines.