DeSantis Admin Moves Against Establishment That Allegedly Admitted Minors to Drag Show

DeSantis Admin Moves Against Establishment That Allegedly Admitted Minors to Drag Show

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is going after the liquor license of an organization believed to have allowed minors onto the premises during a raunchy holiday-themed drag show.

In a complaint, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation claims that “performers engaged in acts of sexual conduct, simulated sexual activity, and lewd, vulgar, and indecent displays.” In addition, the complaint says that videos at the event “included images of exposed female breasts with less than a fully opaque covering, portrayals of simulated masturbation, and other sexually explicit content.”

“The Show also contained sexually explicit themes and prurient content presented through sexualized adaptions of popular children’s Christmas songs,” the complaint goes on to allege.

Previously, the department warned of legal action that would follow if minors were allowed to attend the performance.

“To avoid action being taken against your license, it is your obligation to ensure that minors are prohibited from attending the Drag Fans drag show. If minors are allowed to attend this drag show, the Department will take any and all actions available to ensure that you do not pose a threat to minors in the future,” DBPR secretary Melanie Griffin warned the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation, Inc. in a December 28 note.

“On December 28, 2022, Respondent hosted and supported a ticketed event titled ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ (‘the Show’) on the Licensed Premises and sold alcoholic beverages to patrons in attendance. Respondent promoted the Show using targeted, Christmas-themed promotional materials that did not provide notice to the sexually explicit nature of the Show’s performances or other content,” the complaint adds, according to Fox News.

The complaint also claimed that organizers of the show provided “promotional materials” that “unequivocally stated ‘[a]ll ages welcome.’”

A subsequent statement from Griffin summarized the complaint, saying that the state agency had “warned the Orlando Philharmonic Foundation, Inc. against hosting a sexually explicit show with children present. The venue proceeded with their plans and, according to an investigation by the Department, the venue (Respondent in the complaint) violated Florida statutes as outlined in the attached complaint.”

In December, DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin confirmed the investigation, Fox News reported. In a statement published late last year, Griffin said, “The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is aware of multiple complaints about a sexually explicit performance marketed to children held in Fort Lauderdale on December 26th. The Department is actively investigating this matter.”

As such, “the Department is revoking the venue’s license for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages,” he added.


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