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Texas lawmaker introduces bill to ban children from drag shows

The proposed Texas bill came after a Dallas bar hosted what was billed as a "family friendly" Pride Month event. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
The proposed Texas bill came after a Dallas bar hosted what was billed as a "family friendly" Pride Month event. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

June 6 (UPI) -- A Texas state lawmaker said Monday he will introduce a law seeking to ban children from attending drag shows in the wake of videos depicting youngsters at a Pride Month event in Dallas.

Republican state Rep. Bryan Slaton of Greenville, Texas, said his measure to "[protect] kids from drag shows and other inappropriate displays" would be introduced "as soon as the next legislative session begins."

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Slaton announced his proposed bill after a weekend event at a Dallas bar billed as a "family-friendly" drag show drew protesters and a police presence.

Video of the "Drag the Kids to Pride" event at the Mr. Misster Bar posted to social media showed performers dancing and walking down an aisle in the center of the room, at times taking dollar bills from children in attendance at the alcohol-free event.

Protesters gathered outside the bar in Dallas' Oak Lawn neighborhood, WFAA-TV reported, while police were on hand to "assist with crowd control" and help the crowd "disperse in a safe manner."

"The events of this past weekend were horrifying and show a disturbing trend in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualizing young children," Slaton said in a statement announcing his proposed law, saying he "would never take my children to a drag show."

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Slaton, a former pastor, said lawmakers' responsibility "extends to the sexualization that is happening that is happening across Texas."

The bar owners said in a statement issued to WFAA the event was held separately from drinking-age activities and was meant to raise money for a local LGBTQ+ youth organization.

"We had a group of protestors outside yelling homophobic threats, transphobic remarks and vile accusations at these children and parents," they said. "It is so sad to see that in 2022, there are people that still want to protest others celebrating who they are, but our staff and wonderful officers helped keep us safe and kept the protestors at bay."

In his statement, Slaton also said he would "continue his fight to make sex change therapies on minors" defined in state law as "child abuse."

Under an order from Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas state officials in February began investigating parents who allow their transgender children access to gender-affirming care for possible child abuse.

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