In the wake of the Texas comptroller’s office investigating a Plano bar and restaurant for hosting an explicit drag show in front of children, legislators are continuing to push bills that would put an end to the issue.

State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) has introduced the newest bill that would ban erotic performances, like drag shows, in the presence of minors.

House Bill 4129 would prohibit sexually oriented businesses from allowing a child to enter its premises or allowing an erotic performance to take place in front of a minor.

The bill would also allow for the attorney general or appropriate district or county attorney to bring action or injunction against a person who violates or threatens to violate the bill.

Also, businesses that violate the law would be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation. In the event of a second offense, the business would be subject to the revocation of applicable licenses.

“In the wake of these erotic drag performances sweeping our state, I committed last year to filing legislation that would stop this disgusting practice in the presence of children,” said Slaton. “Sexualized performances where grown adults are dancing provocatively and stuffing money in their exposed underwear are no place for minors.”

Slaton is not the only lawmaker to file legislation pushing back on drag shows. Earlier this year, State Rep. Nate Schatzline (R–Fort Worth) filed House Bill 1266, which would amend the Business and Commerce Code to include drag shows as sexually oriented businesses, thus prohibiting minors from attending the events.

The bills filed by Slaton and Schatzline are accompanied by House Bill 643 filed by State Rep. Jared Patterson (R–Frisco), House Bill 708 filed by State Rep. Matt Shaheen (R–Plano), and Senate Bill 476 filed by State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola). All of these bills would classify drag shows as sexually oriented businesses.

“This is not a partisan issue. People on both sides of the aisle recognize and believe that children should not be sexually exploited. If adults want to watch or engage in these performances in front of other adults, that’s not affected by this bill. But erotic performances are no place for young children, and it must be stopped,” Slaton said.

Though the issue has been named a priority by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in the Senate, it has so far not been prioritized by House Speaker Dade Phelan.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.