REPORT: Bill to classify drag shows as ‘adult-oriented businesses’ clears state Senate

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Arkansas senators on Tuesday voted to classify drag shows as “adult-oriented businesses” under state law, advancing a bill meant to outlaw performances on public property or “where a minor can view” them.

The measure, introduced earlier this month by Arkansas Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R), passed Tuesday in an unexpected 29-6 vote along party lines. It now heads to the Republican-controlled House for consideration.

Under Stubblefield’s bill, a “drag performance” is defined as a performance in which an individual exhibits a gender identity that is different from their sex assigned at birth “using clothing, makeup, or other accessories that are traditionally worn by members of and are meant to exaggerate the gender identity of the performer’s opposite sex.”

Stubblefield explained that the legislation is intended to protect children from obscene or sexually explicit content.

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