Florida Governor Ron DeSantis looking somber.

Hamburger Mary’s Is Fighting Back Against Ron DeSantis’ Drag Ban Bigotry

As Pride month approaches, Pride events across Florida are being canceled due to recent drag bans enacted Governor Ron DeSantis, but one burger bar is fighting back. Hamburger Mary’s, a burger joint in Orlando, is gearing up to sue the governor, claiming that ban of “adult” performances are infringing on the restaurant’s free speech and ability to draw customers.

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According to SB 1483, an “adult live performance” is defined as any live show, exhibition, or presentation that involves the depiction or simulation, either wholly or partially, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or specific sexual activities. The bill in question stipulates that any business suspected of admitting “a child to an adult live performance” will have their license revoked.

Hamburger Mary’s hosts bingo nights, trivia nights, and even a “family friendly” drag show on Sundays that children are allowed to attend. The lawsuit claims that the restaurant has lost at least a fifth of its Sunday bookings due to the recent ban and, with them, a large portion of their earnings. The lawsuit argues that businesses and individuals face the risk of their licenses being suspended if they host a drag show where children are present. Furthermore, the law’s criminal penalties put individuals in jeopardy of prosecution due to the content of their speech.

The lawsuit goes on to say the ban is sweeping enough that it could be used to target “even the most innocent drag performances, to reach into the private homes of Florida citizens, and to determine on behalf of parents what is and is not appropriate entertainment for their children.” The vagueness of the bill could also allow it to be used to target people who are, or are suspected to be, transgender.

The bill was signed into law by DeSantis alongside a slew of other laws aiming to limit access to gender-affirming care and preferred pronoun usage in schools. In a statement to the press, DeSantis condemned drag, calling the art form “sad.” He continued, “There’s these, like, drag shows. It’s sexually explicit, what they’re doing. And look, adult entertainers—people can do what they want with some of that. But to have minors there, I mean, you have situations where you’ll have an 8-year-old girl there, where you have these really explicit shows, and that is just inappropriate.”

You know what’s gonna be ever sadder, Ron? When your administration is fending off countless other lawsuits like this, when your fascist bills are enjoined in court, and when you ultimately lose the Republican presidential nomination to a soon-to-be-convicted felon with the face on an old Cheeto. Then you’ll know really know what “sad” means.

(via Newsweek, featured image: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.