Missouri Mayor Bans Children From Christmas Drag Show
On Wednesday night, protesters gathered outside a Missouri drag show after the mayor, a Republican, had the venue prevent children from attending.
For “A Drag Queen Christmas,” a popular show featuring participants from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation claimed he had urged the event host to modify the age limits.
“We had law enforcement intelligence that indicated that the content of the performance would be, you know, maybe in violation of our ordinances, as well as state and federal guidelines,” A diss towards the LGBTQ community or the people who put on drag shows was not intended.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on Monday afternoon, the venue’s website was updated to reflect that Wednesday’s event would be restricted to those over the age of 18 due to “mature content.”
After Republican state senator Bill Eigel wrote to warn Nation that the event would be in violation of municipal and state laws intended to safeguard minors from exposure to pornographic material, Nation cancelled the event. Nation did point out, however, that not everyone was happy with the new age restrictions.
Protesters and counter-protesters gathered outside the venue on Wednesday night, but the event went on as scheduled.
“As I understand it, there was a sellout crowd there last night. There were no minors. There were protesters on both sides of the issue that were allowed to protest,” reported Nation, adding that one person was taken into custody.
Several demonstrators, including LGBTQ advocates waving rainbow flags and chanting “Hate has to go,” were reportedly seen on Fox 2 with posters reading “Not in Missouri” and “Save our children.”
Others have claimed that the criticism is part of a larger right-wing effort to demonise the LGBTQ community. Lawmakers have voiced concerns that the show may be harmful to young viewers.
Republican Ben Baker of the state legislature tweeted on Wednesday that he has introduced legislation to outlaw “drag queen” events.
“Drag Queen” events are not appropriate for children, Baker stated. “As a Dad of 4 daughters I’m extremely concerned what is being allowed in public spaces accessible by minors.”
Republican Adam Schnelting, a state representative in Missouri, said the show’s content “has been shown to contain sexual acts and innuendos & is improper for kids” in other states.
On Facebook, he penned: “This is not a show for ‘all ages.’ Purposefully and explicitly stealing children’s innocence is unacceptable.”
Democratic Missouri state representative Keri Ingle tweeted that “right wing attacks on the LGBT community have led directly to hate crimes,” specifically mentioning mass shootings.
According to an interview Nation stated that the decision to implement an age limit was not made in response to the criticism levelled at the programme.