The ink of the governor’s signature was barely dry before a new law severely restricting drag entertainment in Florida faced its first legal challenge.
Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando is challenging the law on first amendment grounds of free expression.
Plaintiffs are asking for a judge to issue an injunction, which would essentially put the law on hold while it works its way through the courts. If that happens, it’s possible that could take some of the pressure off of upcoming events, like Stonewall Pride, on whether they will ban drag entertainment on public stages.
The federal lawsuit says reservations for its family-friendly drag brunch on Sundays are down 20%. Like its sister store in Wilton Manors, Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando often programs drag entertainment.
The law is vaguely written, but is being interpreted as banning all live drag shows, regardless of the content. The plaintiffs say their shows wouldn’t violate the law, which defines adult live performance as a show with a live audience that depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, excitement, or activities. It also bans exposure of prosthetics or simulated sex organs.