North Carolina bill would criminalize drag shows after viral lap dance video

Republican legislators in North Carolina introduced a bill in the General Assembly Tuesday that would ban drag shows on public property or in the presence of a minor. The one-page bill comes weeks after a video went viral appearing to show a drag queen giving a lap dance to a young student at a public school in the state. House Bill 673, which was filed by Republican state Rep. Jeff Zenger, would amend state law to define “adult live adult entertainment” as “a performance featuring topless dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, or male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, regardless of whether or not performed for consideration.” The bill, which had 17 cosponsors as of Wednesday, would prohibit that entertainment “on public property or in a location where adult live entertainment is in the presence of an individual under the age of 18.” Violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor with up to five months in jail for the first offense and a Class I felony with up to a year in jail for subsequent offenses. DRAG QUEEN STRADDLES GIRL AT NORTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SCHOOL, VIDEO SHOWS Zenger, who represents a district near Winston-Salem, did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment by time of publication. But he told local WRAL that he got the idea for the bill after fielding complaints from constituents about a drag show held last month at Forsyth Technical Community College. The event drew national attention when a video obtained by Libs of TikTok went viral showing multiple adults laughing and watching a drag performer appearing to give a lap dance to a young girl during an LGBTQ Pride Festival at the public school, which enrolls students as young as 14 years old. The school confirmed in a statement that students of all ages were allowed to attend and subsequently said it was exploring ways to “revise campus policies” following backlash. North Carolina’s proposed restriction on drag shows comes after 34 similar bills in 14 other states, according to the Equality Federation. LGBTQ rights group Equality NC slammed the North Carolina bill as discriminatory and dangerous in a press release Tuesday. “The criminalization of drag is especially dangerous in our current cultural context,” the group said. “Over the past year, the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys have increasingly targeted the LGBTQ+ community, protesting drag shows, nightclubs and public events put on by the queer community. “Anti-drag bills will only further embolden the far-right in their attacks.” The North Carolina state Senate on Tuesday also advanced a bill to ban biological males from competing on girls’ sports teams.
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