A spokesperson for Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said his office was investigating a “Drag Queen Christmas” show for possible violations of the state’s laws against exposing children to sexually explicit themes.
The Christmas drag show was held on Monday at the Broward Center of the Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Chris Nelson, a local activist, recorded a video at the event where he claimed several young children were present.
Nelson left the event after interrupting with a protest against the presence of children at the drag show. He was escorted off of the premises by Broward Sheriff’s deputies.
On Tuesday, DeSantis spokesperson Bryan Griffin said the event would be investigated for possible legal violations.
“The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is aware of multiple complaints about a sexually explicit performance marketed to children held in Fort Lauderdale on December 26th,” Griffin wrote in the statement.
“The Department is actively investigating this matter, including video footage and photographs from the event. DPBR will, like in other cases, take action,” the statement read. “Exposing children to sexually explicit activity is a crime in Florida, and such action violates the Department’s licensing standards for operating a business and holding a liquor license.”
DeSantis has previously expressed his opposition to drag shows with explicit themes allowing children to be present.
One online advertisement for the Broward Center “Drag Queen Christmas” made it clear that there were “adult themes and content” in the performance and limited attendance to people over 18 years old unless the minors were accompanied by a parent.
“The Department frequently conducts investigations into these matters upon tips provided by the public, and we thank the public for continuing to bring attention to these incidents. Investigations of such allegations will remain a priority for the Department and, indeed, are ongoing,” the statement concluded.
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