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DeSantis Admin Expanding Probes Into Drag Queen Christmas Shows

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expanding investigations into drag queen shows held throughout the state during the recent holidays following reports that many of them inappropriately — and potentially illegally — took place with underage children present.

WFLA reported late last week that the Republican governor’s administration made the announcement Wednesday after reports were submitted alleging that shows exposed kids to sexually explicit content. The announcement came ahead of other shows that were planned later in the week, leading state officials to warn those would be investigated as well.

“The investigation by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation said contracted company Big Time Operator, LLC, working under the name ‘Drag Fans’ is potentially violating state statutes through its ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ show,” WFLA reported, adding:

An investigation by the state began after the show’s performance in Fort Lauderdale.

Now, another stop on the show’s tour in Florida in Clearwater at Ruth Eckerd Hall received a warning over the show’s content.

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As previously reported, “A Drag Queen Christmas,” features former stars of the reality competition “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The holiday-themed show goes on tour all over the U.S. The latest investigation announcement continues a series of similar actions at drag-focused events. In July, the governor announced investigation into a drag show at a Miami bar, alleging there were children in attendance.

The GOP governor has also warned he may have Florida’s division of child protective services launch investigations into parents who brought their kids to the shows.

“To avoid action being taken against your license, it is your obligation to ensure that minors are prohibited from attending the Drag Fans drag show,” Melanie S. Griffin, the Secretary of Business and Professional Regulation, said in a letter to one of the shows scheduled in Clearwater, Fla. “If minors are allowed to attend this drag show, the Department will take any and all actions available to ensure that you do not pose a threat to minors in the future.”

This enforcement action isn’t new for DeSantis. In July, the GOP governor announced that his administration would be taking legal action against a Miami bar investigators say allowed minors and children in to watch drag queen shows involving scantily-clad performers.

According to documents obtained by The Daily Caller, his administration will file suit against the bar for allegedly allowing children to be exposed to sexually explicit content.

DeSantis, who is increasingly viewed as the presidential future of the Republican Party, talked about the complaint during a speech in Tampa while speaking out against ongoing cultural attempts to sexualize children.

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“It used to be – people have different views about what they want to do as adults – but it used to be, you know, the kids are off limits,” DeSantis said. “No one wanted to bring the kids into any of this stuff, and we’ve got to get back to that.”

In a tweet containing a video clip of his remarks, DeSantis wrote: “Florida stands with parents to protect children. Exposing children to inappropriate sexualized content is wrong and the state will hold accountable those establishments that transgress this clear boundary.”

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The Daily Caller noted further:

Florida is attempting to revoke the liquor license at R House, a Miami-area bar, through a complaint which details numerous incidents in which children were allegedly exposed to explicit sexual content there with the full knowledge of the bar. In one instance, a male dancer wearing G-string underwear stuffed with dollar bills with his buttocks fully exposed paraded a young girl aged about 3 to 5 through the restaurant while holding her hand, the complaint alleges.

In another instance, a presumably male dancer gyrated and pole-danced in revealing women’s clothing while waving dollar bills, the complaint alleges. R House was not only aware that children may be present during such performances, but they also offered a children’s menu for kids 12 and under.

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“There was a video out of Dallas where they had all these young kids putting money in the underwear of these drag queens at a bar, and that’s totally unacceptable,” DeSantis said. “A week or two later there was video from a place that had similar stuff and then that was identified as being in Florida.”

“Having kids involved in this is wrong. That is not consistent with our law and policy in the state of Florida and it is a disturbing trend in our society to try to sexualize these young people,” he added. “That is not the way you look out for our children. You protect children, you do not expose them to things that are inappropriate.”

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