Florida Gay Pride Parade Canceled After Passage of Child Protection Bill
A Florida city has canceled a gay pride parade for this weekend and restricted another LGBT event to people who are 21 and older in anticipation of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signing a bill that protects children from lewd displays.
Florida’s Senate Bill 1438 passed the state Senate a week ago and cleared all hurdles in the state House on Wednesday.
The bill, which prohibits exposing children to “adult live performances,” is awaiting DeSantis’ signature.
The day the bill passed the House, the group Pride of the Treasure Coast announced on Facebook that a scheduled parade had been called off. The group’s event called “Pridefest” will also not be admitting people under the age of 21.
The decisions were made by the city of Port St. Lucie, according to TCPalm.
“As all of you know, the political climate that we are currently in has us all very concerned for our community,” Pride of the Treasure Coast said on Facebook.
“The city has decided that with the likelihood that the Governor will sign the latest bill … we will need to be on the side of caution and has required us to make this necessary change,” the group added.
Pride of the Treasure Coast said it was “upset and [disheartened]” that children will not be allowed at its festival.
SB 1438, which is known as the “Protection of Children” bill, is intended to protect young people from viewing scenes and acts of vulgarity.
It defines “adult live performances” as “any show, exhibition, or other presentation in front of a live audience which, in whole or in part, depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or specific sexual activities … lewd conduct, or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts.”
The bill, once signed by DeSantis, will prohibit cities from awarding permits to drag shows or similar events where children are present. It will also allow the state to revoke the food and beverage licenses of businesses that hold such events.
The bill passed the state House 82-32 along party lines and the state Senate 28-12.
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