Federal Judge Ron DeSantis’ new law banning children from attending drag shows is ‘unconstitutionally vague and overbroad’ after he ruled it ‘unconstitutionally vague and overbroad’ – after the anti-wake governor threatened to call CPS on parents
Law championed and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis prevents children from participating in ‘adult performances’ US District Judge Gregory Presnell granted Hamburger Mary’s request for a preliminary injunction saying the law could no longer be enforced until the restaurant put on a ‘family-friendly’ drag show. For 15 years, his case ended in litigation
A federal court has blocked implementation of a controversial Florida law banning children from participating in drag shows.
The law was championed and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in the face of a legal challenge from Orlando restaurant Hamburger Mary’s, which has run ‘family-friendly’ drag shows for 15 years.
After a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction, the law can no longer be enforced until Hamburger Mary finishes litigating its lawsuit.
Hamburger Mary’s challenge alleges that the law ‘prohibits protected speech based on the identity of the speaker’ and is vague and overbroad.
The state filed a motion to dismiss the case but U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell denied the move.
Hamburger Mary’s, has run ‘family friendly’ drag shows for 15 years, and is fighting the state
The initial ban was a setback for Gov. Ron DeSantis, who championed the law
Agreeing that the law was ‘unconstitutionally vague,’ Presnell instead granted the restaurant’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent regulators from enforcing the law.
Melissa Stewart, a Memphis-based attorney representing the restaurant, said in a statement: ‘We are extremely pleased with this first win.
‘This law is unconstitutionally vague, over-broad and clearly targets drag performers.
“This preliminary injunction will protect the First Amendment rights of not only our clients, but the LGBTQ community across Florida as we move forward with the next steps in this case,” he added.
The new law prohibits venues from allowing children to enter ‘any event, exhibition, or other presentation that is performed directly in front of an audience and depicts or simulates, in whole or in part, nudity, sexual behavior, sexual excitement, specific sexual activity, … obscene behavior. , or indecent exposure of artificial or fake genitalia or breasts.’
Regulators will be able to suspend the revocation of their licenses if venues are found to have breached the law.
Presnell, who was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 2000, said the so-called Child Protection Act, was “specifically designed to suppress the speech of drag queen performers” and that the state “already has laws that provide protection” from lewd behavior.
The judge said the law was ill-defined and ‘vulnerable to broad subject matter’.
Melissa Stewart, a Memphis-based lawyer representing the restaurant, said she was ‘extremely pleased’ with the ‘first win’.
Trans rights protesters in Florida push back against Ron DeSantis’ anti-drag law
‘An age-appropriate story for children with a fully clothed artificial breast reading might be called ‘wicked’ – and thus ‘obscene’ – by some, but such a scenario would not constitute the kind of obscene conduct prohibited. Prior case law, Presnell wrote in the 24-page ruling.
Presnell also drew attention to issues raised by focusing on ‘artificial or simulated genitalia or breasts’.
He asked what the implications might be for cancer survivors with artificial genitalia or breasts.
Presnell said the law “conflicts with the Parents’ Bill of Rights and other laws.”
‘All parental rights are reserved in this state to the parent of a minor child’ he wrote, ‘including … the right to direct the upbringing and moral or religious training of his minor child.’
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