US judge throws out Texas ban on drag acts, calls it unconstitutional

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09/26/2023

Sept 26 (Reuters) – A federal judge in Texas ruled on Tuesday that the state’s new law limiting public drag performances was an unconstitutional restriction on speech and he permanently forbid enforcement of it. “Not all people will like or condone certain performances,” U.S. District Judge David Hittner wrote. “This is no different than a person’s opinion on certain comedy or genres of music, but that alone does not strip First Amendment protection.” More than a dozen states have sought to restrict drag shows over last year, with Texas one of at least four to pass restrictions into law, part of broader Republican efforts to regulate the behavior of LGBT people. Hittner ruled that the Texas law was discriminatory and improperly vague. He said drag performances were not inherently obscene, and were the sort of expressive speech protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

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