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Nebraska Dem Offers Amendment to Absurd Drag Show Ban: Ban Kids From Church, Too

The proposal serves to "make a point" about the absurdity of drag show bans, the lawmaker said.

A Nebraska Democrat has showcased the absurdity of a bill that bars children from attending drag performances by proposing an amendment to the bill that would forbid children from attending religious services and events.

LB371, introduced by state Sen. Dave Murman (R), forbids children from viewing drag performances of any kind. Under the bill, establishments would be fined up to $10,000 for hosting drag shows where children are present, while parents could be fined up to $1,000 for bringing their children to such events.

The bill is part of a broader attack on LGBTQ people across the country, with one ACLU spokesperson calling it “an unconstitutional censorship attempt rooted in a coordinated national effort to push LGBTQ+ people out of public life.”

“Drag is a visual expression and creative celebration of LGBTQ+ culture,” Jane Seu, the legal and policy counsel for the ACLU of Nebraska, said. “It has been a part of the creative community for centuries and this bill would have far-reaching implications on the historical tradition of artistic freedom.”

Murman — who has admitted to never having attended a drag performance — claims that drag shows are inherently sexual and ill-suited for children. However, many drag shows are created specifically for kids, such as the widely lauded Drag Queen Story Hour, in which drag queens read books to children at libraries while in makeup and costume.

State Sen. Megan Hunt (D) introduced a number of amendments to showcase the absurdity of the bill — including an amendment that would bar children from attending church services, religious camps, and other religious programs.

Hunt noted in her amendment that there is “a well documented history of indoctrination and sexual abuse perpetrated by religious leaders and clergy people upon children.” If Republicans want to justify barring children from age-appropriate drag shows by falsely claiming that children are being indoctrinated, children should also be barred from attending religious services, she said.

Hunt has said that she won’t actually push for the amendment’s passage.

“This amendment obviously won’t pass, and I would withdraw it if it had the votes to pass. It’s just a device to make a point,” she said.

Hunt submitted other amendments to showcase her opposition to Murman’s bill, including one that forbids children from attending movies with “R” ratings, fining parents and movie theaters the same amounts that Murman’s proposal would fine parents and establishments hosting drag shows. Another amendment forbids companies from introducing new candies in the state without disclosing the gender of those candies — a reference to the conservative outrage after M&M changed the appearances of their cartoon mascots in commercials.

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