The Arizona State Senate GOP spoke with The Arizona Sun Times via email about planned legislation that aims to prevent children from attending drag shows.
“[State] Senator Vince Leach [R-SaddleBrooke] is spearheading the effort, and he sent his ideas on the subject matter to our legislative council who is in the process right now of researching to help craft a potential bill. They will look at what’s in our constitution, what other states are doing and not doing, et cetera,” the Arizona State Senate GOP spokeswoman said.
She also mentioned there is currently no time frame for this legislation, nor have any other actions been discussed.
“One of the reasons why we were elected as lawmakers by our constituents was to protect family values. If men want to dress as women, and if adults want to participate in watching these hyper-sexualized performances, they have the freedom to do so. It crosses the line when kids are subjected to these drag shows,” the Arizona State Senate Majority Team said in a joint statement.
“This ignorance by public and private sectors promoting this behavior sends a message of complete and utter perversion that can have detrimental impacts on the social and emotional development of our children. We will be damned if we won’t fight like hell to protect the most innocent from these horrifying and disturbing trends that are spreading across the nation, now that extremist Democrats are currently in control of our federal government,” the Team wrote.
Two recent drag events involving children in Arizona were cited in the document.
The first was a drag show hosted by the Heard Museum earlier this month as part of its “Pride Night.” According to Phoenix New Times, museum staff touted the show as family friendly.
Azcentral photographed the event where children can be seen in the audience watching the drag performers.
As reported by The Sun Times, the second incident involves Zobella Brazil Vinik. Vinik is a former counselor for Tucson High Magnet School’s “Q Space,” an LGBT after-school club, who helped organize the school’s first drag show. However, before the show could go on, Vinik was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student.
However, AZ Family reported that not everyone in the state legislature is on board with this idea, including State Representative Daniel Hernandez (D-Santa Cruz).
“So we know there are real tangible threats to kids. It’s not teachers grooming children, it’s not drag queens showing up and doing story time, and it’s certainly not this problem [children attending drag shows],” said Hernandez.
Hernandez is concerned that Republicans are targeting the LGBT community, specifically trans youth, to score political points in the primary.
Until the legislation is revealed, it is unknown what the punishment will be for breaking this hypothetical law.
Arizona is not the only state preparing to crack down on the issue of children and drag shows. Both Floridian and Texan lawmakers are also attempting to keep kids out of these shows.
Earlier this month, Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini (R-Clermont) tweeted he would create legislation that would charge any adult who brings a child to a drag show with a felony and terminate parental rights.
BREAKING: Drag Sex Shows aimed at children have come to Florida
I will be proposing Legislation to charge w/ a Felony & terminate the parental rights of any adult who brings a child to these perverted sex shows aimed at FL kids
When will the sexualization of children stop? pic.twitter.com/m8cJ2ORNJo
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) June 7, 2022
Furthermore, Texas State Rep. Bryan Salton (R-Austin) tweeted a letter stating he would be filing legislation “protecting kids from drag shows and other inappropriate displays,” following videos displaying children viewing a drag queen dance at a show.
Drag shows are no place for a child.
I would never take my children to a drag show and I know Speaker Dade Phelan and my Republican colleagues wouldn’t either.
— Bryan Slaton (@BryanforHD2) June 6, 2022
As reported by The Sun Times, the videos that caused the uproar came from a “Drag the Kids to Pride” event held at a bar in Dallas, Texas. Videos from the event show children walking with drag performers and handing money to drag queens.
A drag queen drops it low for children and takes their money—
This is not even the worst footage to come out of the event believe it or not. pic.twitter.com/uIodp84Naf
— Tayler Hansen 🇺🇸 (@TaylerUSA) June 4, 2022
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Vince Leach” by Vince Leach. Background Photo “Drag Show” by James Brooks. CC BY 2.0.