Drag Queen Show Stopped by Judge
Last week, there was an unexpected court victory on the issue of hypersexualized drag shows in front of kids. U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled in favor of the West Texas A&M University Walter Wendler who canceled an on- campus drag show that was to be held earlier in the year. Drag queens sued President Wendell, the university, and other school officials claiming that President Wendell violated their First Amendment rights by not allowing them to have a drag performance on campus. According to the opinion, the drag queens were contemplating having children present at the university drag show.
Judge Kacsmaryk states that when children are involved, the calculation of free speech rights changes. The opinion dives in further by explaining that the First Amendment does not prevent school officials from restricting vulgar and lewd behavior. One of the drag performers scheduled for the university performance was known for his excessively lewd acts of stripping, sexual simulation, and “frequent presentation of his barely covered crotch” at drag shows. Additionally, President Wendler has qualified immunity from being sued.
The ruling makes it clear that President Wendler was restricting offensive conduct and not offensive ideas or political messages when he decided that the drag show should not happen on campus.
This ruling gives hope after SB 12, the Stop Drag Shows for Kids bill, was enjoined at a trial court last month. The ruling affirms what we know to be true that drag queens do not have a constitutional right to “sexualize” our children. Texas Values law and policy team submitted an amicus brief in the case on SB 12. We expect the ruling to be appealed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Please continue to follow Texas Values as we fight to stop the sexualization of children in Texas through drag shows, curriculum, and other means. If you appreciate the work that we do, please consider giving a tax-deductible donation to Texas Values or Texas Values Action.