On Wednesday, a crowd of protesters descended upon a theater in Orlando, Florida to voice their opposition to the venue’s hosting of a “drag queen Christmas” event that was targeted towards children.
As reported by Fox News, there were also a small handful of protesters who supported the event and its promotion of sexual content towards children, with police officers at the scene to keep the two sides separate and maintain peace.
“Whatever they want to do, 18 and older, 21, whatever, that’s fine,” said one protester, a man who gave his name as Joe “White Shark.” “But they’re bringing children in.”
Meanwhile, Kaity Danehy-Samitz, a spokeswoman for Women’s Voice of Southwest Florida, said that she and other supporters were “out here today to show solidarity, to come together as a community to make sure that this stays a peaceful event, to make sure that the attendants are safe.”
The theater in question is the Plaza Live, which is operated by the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation. This year’s performance marked the eighth year in a row that the theater hosted the drag queens. The event has already drawn scrutiny from the state government, with Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) announcing an investigation into another venue that had previously hosted the show.
“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,” said Bryan Griffin, a spokesman for the DeSantis Administration.
“The Department has reason to believe that this drag show is of a sexual nature, involving the exposure or exhibition of sexual organs, simulated sexual activity, and/or the sexualization of children’s stories,” the DBPR said in a statement. “The Department has also become aware that drag shows by Drag Fans have been marketed to and attended by minors, including young children. In short, if you allow children to attend the Drag Fans drag show at your facility, you are putting your license in jeopardy.”