Things That Matter

Two Weeks After Uvalde Shooting, Texas Rep Shifts Focus To Drag Shows

A Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill that would ban children from attending drag shows, in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting.

It’s been two weeks since the lives of 19 children and two teachers were taken. In lieu of responding to Uvalde with productive legislation related to gun violence, Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Mineola, has opted to try to prohibit children from drag shows.

No preventative gun legislation has been passed in the state of Texas since the shooting.

The move from Slaton comes after a series of articles and videos have surfaced, showing underaged children at drag shows across the state.

In a statement laying out his intentions to push for the new legislation, Slaton said:

“The events of this past weekend were horrifying and show a disturbing trend in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualizing young children. As a father of two young children, I would never take my children to a drag show.”

He continues, “Protecting our own children isn’t enough, and our responsibility as lawmakers extends to the sexualization that is happening across Texas.”

Slaton’s comments are tied to the coordinated effort from Republican lawmakers in Texas to target the queer community, specifically those they suspect to be transgender youths. A similar bill still making rounds in the state would deny gender-affirming healthcare for trans kids, including any related surgeries, hormone therapies or puberty blockers.

LGBTQ+ and human rights activist groups have decried the proposed legislation as discriminatory and inhumane.

According to the Texas Tribune, “It’s harmful to debate anybody’s basic human and civil rights and to bring humanity into question as something that is not valid,” said Adri Perez, policy and advocacy strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. “That has a lasting impact on people and whether or not they can conceptualize a future for themselves in the state of Texas.”

Slaton is far from the only Texas Republican to support anti-trans and anti-drag legislation, despite Texas Democrats’ best efforts to keep the legislation at bay.

Slaton’s statement continues, “I promised my voters that I would stand up for their values and fight to protect Texas kids. I was re-elected on that promise and I intend to keep it by authoring legislation to defend kids from being subjected to drag shows and other inappropriate events.”

Slaton was also one of the lawmakers who, in March of 2021, introduced a bill that would outlaw abortion with no exceptions for rape and incest, and would subject women and doctors who were involved in an abortion to the death penalty.

New York, on the other hand, has made some changes, passing a new law that requires semi-automatic gun buyers to be at least 21 years of age. New Yorkers will also have a tougher time purchasing bulletproof vests and body armor, and will now be subject to stricter “red flag” laws.

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