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August 2, 2022

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis filed a complaint against a Miami restaurant after a viral video showed children attending a drag show brunch at the establishment. 

The complaint alleges that the restaurant R House violated the state’s public nuisance law, as its drag performances were “manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people.” It also referenced the 1947 Florida Supreme Court ruling that stated “men impersonating women” in a “suggestive and indecent” manner is a public nuisance.

A video of a child attending the restaurant’s drag show, in which a child can be seen walking with a drag performer dressed in lingerie, was posted by the right-wing social media account LibsofTikTok, according to The Hill. Consequently, the incident led to an investigation by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

“Having kids involved in this is wrong,” said DeSantis. “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.”

If the complaint succeeds, the Miami restaurant could lose its liquor license. R House told the Miami Herald that the incident was “a misunderstanding, and that the matter will be resolved positively and promptly.”

“That is not the way you look out for our children,” DeSantis said at the press conference. “You do not expose them to things that are inappropriate.” 

This complaint comes in the wake of other anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from the governor. In March, DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education—colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law—which prevents “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” in kindergarten through third grade. The law went into effect this month.

In an interview with NBC 6 back in June, drag queen Athena Dion encouraged those who see drag as a detriment to society should attend a show and form an opinion for themselves. 

“Sit down, have a drag brunch, and then you tell me your thoughts on a show because you’re going to see firsthand that it’s a really great time,” Dion said. “There’s no harm to be had by anybody.”

The Florida governor has also made headlines recently as a potential candidate for the 2024 presidential election cycle. A recent poll indicated that if former president Donald Trump wasn’t a contender, 23.4% of voters preferred DeSantis as the Republican candidate.

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