Far-right Christians draft absurd bill to ban all public drag performances

Drag queen Yuhua Hamaskai takes part in a Drag Queen Story Hour event

A right-wing Christian group claims it is working on a draft bill to ban all public drag performances in Idaho.

Blaine Conzatti, president of the Idaho Family Policy Center (IFPC), told the Idaho Capital Sun that the bill will be introduced to the state’s legislature when it opens in January 2023, though he declined to share a draft with the outlet.

The Christian group has pushed forward three highly controversial pieces of legislation just this year, none of which have been implemented and two of which did not even receive hearings in the Idaho Senate.

The IFPC’s failed pieces of draft legislation included a bill banning most abortions in the state by allowing civil lawsuits against medical providers, a bill making it a felony to provide gender-affirming care to a minor, and a bill holding librarians criminally accountable for children accessing “obscene materials”.

The IFPC’s latest draft legislation comes after the group circulated a petition ahead of Pride celebrations in the state’s capital city, Boise, asking the government to ban drag performances in public venues under the guise of “protecting children”.

The petition claimed that drag is an “erotic fetish”, and described drag shows and performances as “vile sexual exhibitions”.

“Our children’s innocence – and public virtue – must be protected. Please update state laws to ensure children are not exposed to sexual exhibitions like drag shows in public places”, it read.

Conzatti took particular issue with the children’s event Drag Queen Story Hour.

Such events have been subject to protest and even aggressive abuse across both the United States and the UK.

He added: “No child should ever be exposed to sexual exhibitions like drag shows in public places, whether that’s at a public library or a public park.”

The petition decrying drag performers referenced a since-debunked story which wrongly claimed a drag queen who performed at the Idaho Pride event had “exposed” themselves to children.

The video of the drag artist – Eric Posey, whose drag name is Mona Liza Million – was found to be doctored, and Posey is now suing right-wing blogger Summer Bushnell, who claimed Posey had exposed himself to minors and called for her audience to report the video to police.

Posey is reportedly seeking $10,000 for defamation after enduring “public harassment, hatred, contempt, and ridicule” due to the false claims, according to his lawyer.

The IFPC’s petition to ban drag still contains a screenshot of the doctored video of Posey, despite the fact that it was found to be fake.

Idaho has come up against several anti-LGBTQ+ incidents this year, with 31 people including the leader of neo-Nazi group Patriot Front arrested for conspiracy to riot at a Pride event in the state in June.

Thomas Rousseau, the founder of Patriot Front, was arrested among over two dozen others near the North Idaho Pride Alliance’s Coeur d’Alene Pride in the Park event, who claimed they were at the Pride event because the attendees wanted to “groom kids”.

The 31 men were bailed out shortly after being arrested by anonymous donors.

Donald Williamson, the executive director of Boise Pride, told the newspaper he believes the draft legislation banning drag performances would be a violation of free speech.

“It’s just wrong on so many levels,” Williamson said. 

“If you don’t agree with the performances, then you don’t go. It’s just like any other venue. It’s why I don’t go to country music concerts; it’s not my cup of tea.”

PinkNews has contacted the Idaho House of Representatives for comment.