AUSTIN (CBSNewsTexas) - The Texas Senate has advanced legislation that would ban children from drag shows deemed sexually explicit.
Senate Bill 12 defines a sexually oriented performance as one in which someone is naked or in drag and "appeals to the prurient interest in sex."
SB 12 would ensure business owners were fined $10,000 for hosting such events. Drag entertainers performing "lewd" drag in front of children could face a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
The bill was filed by Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes of Mineola, who said it's about protecting children.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also supports the legislation.
"It is shocking to me that any parent would allow their young child to be sexualized by drag shows. Children, who cannot make decisions on their own, must be protected from these sexually-oriented drag shows now occurring more and more in front of them," Patrick stated in a news release sent to CBSNewsTexas. "I selected SB 12 to be a top priority of mine because someone must fight back against the radical Left's degradation of our society and values. I will not allow Texas children to be sexualized and scarred for life by harmful drag performances."
But those opposed to the bill disagreed.
State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a San Antonio Democrat, said gun reform is what truly protects children, and is more of a priority than passing SB 12.
The bill will now need to pass the House and be signed by the governor to become law.
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