Florida Governor DeSantis Tries To Shut Down Miami FL Drag Show
The administration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday filed a state complaint against Miami’s R House that the Wynwood bar’s weekend drag show brunches expose minors to “shows of sexually explicit dragsters”.
“The nature of the performances described above, particularly when conducted in the presence of young children, corrupts public morals and outrages a sense of public decency,” the complaint reads in an argument accusing R House of disorderly conduct.
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R House ownership released a statement: “We are aware of the complaint and are currently working with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, through our attorney, to rectify the situation. We hope that Governor DeSantis, a strong supporter and champion of Florida’s hospitality industry and small businesses, will see this for what it is, a misunderstanding, and that the matter will be resolved positively and quickly.
The complaint was filed with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, part of the DeSantis administration, by the agency’s Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Division.
R House has 21 days to respond. He could lose his liquor license if found to be in violation of local laws and codes.
And that, DeSantis said, would “essentially” bankrupt R House.
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The complaint says that after a July 3 video seen on social media and various websites showed a dancer with bare buttocks, breasts covered only in nipple pasties and dollar bills in a thong leading a daughter of 3 to 5 years around the restaurant, the division learned that R House’s Drag Show brunches had been going on since at least 2017.
After that, the complaint says division investigators attended the drag brunch on July 9, 17, and 23. Additionally, investigators scoured social media for videos of Drag Brunch, several screenshots of which are included in the complaint.
Throughout the document, the complaint attempts to juxtapose the show’s similarities to strip club performances, with children being welcome (the Drag Brunch menu has a section for those under 12).
“Having children involved in this is wrong and it is not in accordance with our law and our policy in the State of Florida, and it is a disturbing trend in our society to try to sexualize these young people,” a DeSantis told reporters at a press conference in Tampa. “This is not how you take care of our children. You protect the children. You don’t expose them.
The state argued that “the performance and simulated sexual activity — particularly when conducted in the presence of young children — constituted lewd activity and warranted revocation of the respondent’s license,” according to the complaint. .
He also believes the place should be “declared a nuisance”, citing precedent set by the Florida Supreme Court which recognizes that “men impersonating women” in the context of “suggestive and indecent” performances constitute a public nuisance”.
“We want to make sure we have a state and we have communities where kids can be kids,” DeSantis said.
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This story was originally published July 27, 2022 12:20 p.m.