UPDATE: House Bill 1333 was signed by the Governor.
House Bill 1333 would prohibit “adult-oriented performances,” including drag and cabaret shows, in the presence of minors and on public property.
The ACLU of North Dakota opppses House Bill 1333. It is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and expression. It’s discriminatory and unconstitutional to single out male and female impersonators in a bid to shut down their speech.
Courts have held that government can impose some reasonable restrictions on adult entertainment. Drag performances, however, are nothing like strip clubs and do not meet the definition of ‘adult entertainment’ that is applicable to strip clubs. Artistic expression is not sexual or erotic in nature simply because it involves male or female impersonators and, therefore, it cannot be regulated like ‘adult-oriented businesses.
Attempting to shape the narrative by implying that drag is intrinsically sexual or that gay and trans spaces shouldn’t allow accompanied minors because it promotes sexual deviancy is textbook bigotry — not to mention counter to the conservative values of personal freedom.