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The governor of Arkansas signed legislation that will restrict ‘adult’ performances



Little Rock, Arkansas – On Friday, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed into law new restrictions on “adult-oriented” performances. The bill, which initially targeted drag shows but was scaled back in response to complaints that it discriminated against the LGBTQ community, was signed into law by the governor.

Performers who are nude or semi-nude and purposefully expose a particular anatomical area, prosthetic breasts or genitalia are prohibited from participating in performances under the terms of a bill that was signed into law by the state’s Republican governor. The performance must include either real or simulated sexual activities in order to qualify as meeting the definition. Additionally, the performance must be designed to appeal to “prurient” interests, which is a term that is not defined in the legislation.

It is proposed that the performances be prohibited from taking place on public property, paid for with public funds, and open to attendance by minors.

The first draft of the bill proposed to classify drag shows as adult-oriented businesses, placing them in the same category as adult theaters and strip clubs. As a result, the legislation would have prohibited drag shows from being located within a distance of one thousand feet of public schools, churches, or libraries. The final version of the bill, which Sanders has now signed into law, makes no reference to drag shows or gender identity, which should allay some of the concerns raised by opponents.

Opponents, on the other hand, have asserted that the new restrictions are still worded in an unclear manner and are unnecessary.

In recent months, legislators in a number of states, including Arkansas, who identify as Republicans have proposed imposing restrictions on drag shows.

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