As the fight continues to ban “family-friendly” drag shows in Texas, Texas Family Project has announced plans to place $30,000 in television ads to demand that House Speaker Dade Phelan and the Texas House pass legislation to protect children.

Senate Bill 12 authored by State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola) would restrict sexually explicit drag performances on public property and in front of a child. The legislation would make the act a Class A misdemeanor, and anyone who violates the law would be subject to up to $10,000 in fines per offense. 

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 20-11 last month and is currently in the State Affairs Committee in the House, where it has yet to receive a committee hearing.

Despite ending the sexualization of Texas children being a legislative priority for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas GOP, Phelan has been reluctant to say whether he supports the bill, leaving many to worry that it could die in the House.

TFP, whose mission is to fight to make Texas families the most powerful force in Austin, will be launching TV ads in Phelan’s district to demand that his chamber pass the legislation. 

“Across Texas, children are already being aggressively sexualized by sick adults at drag shows, and we expect the abuse to only increase as we approach ‘Pride Month,’” said Austin Griesinger, the policy director for Texas Family Project.

“Speaker Dade Phelan needs to stop siding with the abusers and pass SB 12, which protects kids from being abused by these demented displays. Every day he delays makes it harder to pass this important bill.”

The ads are set to begin airing on local TV stations in Beaumont and surrounding towns this week.

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.