Leading Off: Legislative Update - Another Drag Bill Advances

Matt Goodman

D Magazine

Apr 5, 2023

This one defunds public libraries that host drag queen reading hours. The bill, authored by Mineola state Sen. Bryan Hughes, passed with a 20-9 preliminary vote from the chamber floor. The only Democrat to vote in support was Sen. Royce West of Dallas.

Another drag bill, SB 12, makes it illegal for kids to attend “lewd” drag performances held in private businesses and public spaces. It received initial approval by a vote of 21-10, with West again the only Democrat adding his vote. (Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa initiall voted in favor, but later said he would switch his vote.)

Other Democrats and LGBTQ+ advocates have said the language in the bills are too broad and vague and intend to violate free speech by shutting down queer art and expression. Librarians say the story hours are popular and attract families. Both bills need final votes in the Senate before heading to the House.

Royce West montage