- An Oklahoma bill would make it a felony punishable by a $20,000 fine for drag performers who perform in front of minors.
- Republican Rep. Kevin West’s bill would also make it a misdemeanor to stage drag performances in public.
- At least ten states have proposed legislation that targets drag performances, including drag queen story hours.
An Oklahoma bill would make it a felony punishable by a fine of up to $20,000 for drag performers who perform in front of minors.
The bill would make it “unlawful for a person to participate in an adult cabaret performance” in public in front of a minor. The fine can be in the range of $500 to $20,000, and you can also incur a prison sentence of 30 days to two years, depending on the text of the bill.
Republican state Rep. Kevin West, who introduced House Bill 2186 on January 19, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The bill also specifically named drag queen story hours as events that would be considered illegal, as well as other forms of “adult cabaret” performances. It would also create a misdemeanor for anyone who arranges or authorizes such performances in public or within view of minors, threatening a $500 to $1,000 fine and up to one year in county jail.
The bill compared drag performers to strippers and topless dancers, and defined a “drag queen” as a “male or female performer who adopts a flamboyant or parodic female persona with glamorous or exaggerated costumes and makeup.”
An activist in Twitter he also suggested that the wording may criminalize a woman who displays a “girly persona” with heavy makeup around children, according to Newsweek.
The bill is scheduled to have its first reading in the Oklahoma House of Representatives on February 6, according to the Oklahoma legislature’s website.
It follows a trend of similar legislation gaining traction across the country to limit drag performances, such as in Arizona, Texas, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Missouri, Tennessee, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia, according to a report from Newsweek and the ACLU. Over the past year, the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, have also been targets of drag story hours in California and North Carolina, and other states.
In October, a coalition of Republicans in the US House of Representatives introduced a bill to “Stop the Sexualization of Children,” which specifically targets drag queen story hours as “sexually oriented events.” “, Insider previously reported. The bill would give parents grounds to sue public entities that use federal tax dollars, such as public libraries, for “sexually explicit materials or programs.”