What you need to know about the ‘Drag’ bill
SB 43 is a drag show bill that attempts to limit where drag performances can be held. As written now the bill, would ban drag shows on public property or anywhere that someone under age 18 could view them.
Considers drag performance an adult oriented business
It adds “drag performance” to a list of spaces considered adult-oriented businesses, joining:
adult bookstores or video stores
adult live entertainment establishments
massage establishments that offers adult services
nude model studios.
New language in the bill would specify that none of these adult-oriented businesses could be located on public property or “where a minor can view what the adult-oriented business is otherwise offering.”
Who would be held harmful, if anyone, under this bill isn’t clear.
Definition of drag performance
The definition of a drag performance in this bill is broad. It defines drag performances as where someone exhibits a gender identity different than that assigned at birth by wearing clothing, makeup or other accessories typically worn by members of the opposite sex. The performer must be lip syncing or singing or dancing for at least 2 people. And it has to be intended to appeal to the “prurient interest.”
Prurient interest is not defined in Arkansas Code, though it is relied on heavily in other definitions. In its kindest interpretation, it is something that incites sexual thoughts. This bill leaves it up to the state and the courts to decide what someone’s intentions are.
What this bill wouldn’t do is ban drag book readings at local libraries or local schools. It doesn’t ban drag around children or in public spaces. It bans drag along with singing / dancing that the state deems is meant to arouse sexual interest.
It's currently set for a hearing today after the Senate adjourns in the Senate City, County, and Local Affairs Committee.
This bill is idiotic. Drag shows are for fun, not to arouse prurient interests. Like obscenity laws in general, SB43 is the State's attempt to regulate behavior it deems offensive.. Cathy makes a good point. What about Pride events? What about a trans person who dresses as the gender other than their birth gender? OMG, I'm aroused. Put that person in jail.
I agree! Well done! Thankyou!