North Dakota Wants to Criminalize Drag Performances

North Dakota Wants to Criminalize Drag Performances

A North Dakota house bill banning drag performances has advanced to the Senate, and the Human Rights Campaign is speaking up.

House Bill 1133 is an anti-LGBTQ+ bill restricting drag performances in the state of North Dakota. The new bill would classify drag performances as adult-oriented entertainment that cannot be done on public property, or in places where people under the age of 18 are present.

Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow released a statement following the vote, condemning all anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and calling it a “coordinated push led by national anti-LGBT+ groups.”

In 2022, a record-breaking 315 anti-LGBTQ+ laws were passed throughout the United States. Additionally, 1 in 5 hate crimes is anti-LGBTQ+ motivated, with Black trans women experiencing disproportionate amounts of violence.

This bill follows North Dakota conservatives questioning the motivations of a local drag production involving children. Opponents to these event and others, like Drag Queen Storytime, argue that these events normalize gender dysphoria among young people.

If this bill becomes law, violators risk a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 365 days in prison and a $3,000 fine. The bill, which passed 79-13, will now proceed to the North Dakota Senate for consideration.

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