Orlando bar files lawsuit against DeSantis, claiming ban on children at drag shows infringes on its free speech rights

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A downtown Orlando bar filed a federal lawsuit against Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida over a law that restricts sexual performances in front of children.

Gary Israel, an attorney representing Hamburger Mary’s Bar and Grille, said that DeSantis has overstepped his bounds and claimed that the drag shows were a simple matter of free speech rights.

“Plaintiff offers ‘family friendly’ drag performances announced on Sundays where children are invited to attend. There is no lewd activity, sexually explicit shows, disorderly conduct, public exposure, obscene exhibition, or anything inappropriate for a child to see,” read the lawsuit.

Israel went on to claim that the bar had lost about 20% of its business after disallowing children to its drag show performances.

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The owners of the bar wrote that the law was nothing less than the “continued oppression of the LGBTQ+ community” in a statement on Facebook.

“Anytime our legislaters [sic] want to demonize a group, they say they are coming for your children. In this case, creating a false narrative that drag queens are grooming and recruiting your children with no factual basis or history to back up these accusations AT ALL!” the post continued.

Israel compared the drag shows to Lucille Ball dressing up as a man on her classic show and went on to claim that the drag performers join the Christmas shows at the bar and also on Passover they performed doing the story of the nation of Israel coming out of Egypt in “song and dance.”

The lawsuit asks a federal judge to delay implementation of the drag show restrictions by Florida until the issue can be fully litigated.

Also on Tuesday, a report claimed that DeSantis was going to announce his presidential campaign for 2024 later in the week.

Here’s a local news report about the lawsuit:

Orlando drag bar sues Florida, Gov. DeSantiswww.youtube.com

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