Kansas Bill Would Criminalize Drag In Front Of Children

The Kansas Reflector reports:

The Kansas GOP is testing the waters with new legislation meant to discredit the LGBTQ community, activists say, with bills seeking to criminalize gender-affirming care and drag show performances for children, and a revised ban on transgender athletes.

Senate Bill 12, introduced by Sen. Mike Thompson, a Shawnee Republican, and Sen. Mark Steffen, a Hutchinson Republican, would criminalize hormone replacement therapy and gender reassignment surgery for transgender youths.

On Tuesday, Thompson introduced a bill that would criminalize drag performances where children were in attendance. “It is for relating to obscene performances expanding the crime of promoting obscenity to minors, including drag performances,” Thompson said in a one-sentence introduction of the legislation.

The Kansas City Star reports:

According to a copy of the bill obtained by The Star, it defines drag as any performance in which the performer exhibits a gender identity different from the one they were assigned at birth using clothes, makeup and accessories to exaggerate the features of that gender.

“I think it can be, for a small child, confusing. I think it can be disturbing,” said Thompson. The broad language could apply to a wide array of theater performances beyond drag shows.

During the election cycle Kansas GOP gubernatorial candidate Derek Schmidt spent days campaigning on a quickly debunked claim that the Kansas Department of Commerce was funding drag shows open to children.

Of note, Thompson, an anti-vax former weatherman, is pals with the anti-LGBTQ Canadian pastor currently on trial for inciting violence.