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Two Texas bills banning drag s...

Two Texas bills banning drag shows just got closer to becoming law

A Texas Senate committee voted on Monday in favor of two bills that would effectively make performing drag or hosting drag performances criminal offenses in the Lone Star State, according to The Dallas Morning News’ Lauren McGaughy.  

The vote follows a contentious hearing on the bills before Texas senators last week, clips from which went viral on TikTok after a physical confrontation between activists and Senate officials ensued during public comment. On Monday, the Texas Committee on State Affairs voted 6-2 to pass Senate Bill 12 and Senate Bill 1601. The bills are now up for debate before the full Texas Senate. 

SB 12 would make it illegal for men presenting as women or vice versa to perform in public spaces or in front of minors if the performance “appeals to the prurient interest in sex.” If passed into law, SB 12 would allow authorities to charge alleged violators with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail, a $4,000 fine or both.

SB 1601 would prevent libraries that host drag story hours from receiving public money. The libraries’ performers do not have to appeal to the so-called “prurient interest in sex” for the library to be punished for hosting them in this case.

During committee debate last week, public testimony against the bill outweighed supporters by a five-to-one margin. Dramatic footage of activists denouncing the bills immediately went viral on TikTok; one clip has amassed 1.1 million likes, nearly 8,000 comments and more than 6,000 shares since it was posted on Friday.