YOU LOVE ME – Governor Ron DeSantis defended parental rights during the pandemic saying it should be up to them whether or not their children should comply with public health measures. But when the videos showed children at a drag queen show, parental rights didn’t come to mind.
Lawyer Nicole Alvarez is among the critics who denounced DeSantis for the contradiction. R house, restaurant and lounge, has an art gallery and stage for performances in Miami’s Wynwood. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the “Drag Extravaganza” is on stage.
DeSantis said he is targeting the R house to protect children, but some parents like Alvarez who see drag shows as a creative form of artistic expression have said it’s not his call.
“If I choose to take my daughter to a drag show, that will be the commercial enterprise that will be penalized for my choice. I mean, I really don’t see the correlation, ”Alvarez said, adding that DeSantis“ has always expressed that parents have the right to choose for their children, that private companies have the right to conduct business as they see fit. Honestly, this is an overrun. “
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation threatened to revoke R House’s alcohol license for corrupting “public morals.” DeSantis mentioned the children’s menu.
While federal public health officials recommended applying face masks and COVID-19 vaccines, DeSantis said the warrants would not be enforced in Florida. He also opposed business restrictions during the pandemic.
“Together we have made Florida the freest state in this United States,” DeSantis said during his state of the state address, which kicked off the 2022 legislative session in Tallahassee. “While so many across the country have handed over people’s rights to the cemetery, Florida has remained the vanguard of freedom.”
While courting the American far right, DeSantis went on to sign a bill that restricted public education related to gender identity or sexual orientation and banned transgender girls from playing school sports. Alvarez said DeSantis doesn’t make any sense.
“It’s only free for some,” Alvarez said.
Bryan Griffin, a spokesman for DeSantis, released a statement describing the drag shows as “sexually explicit” and classifying the criticism as coming exclusively from the political opposition.
“Parents are not the subject of this complaint,” Griffin wrote. “It’s the restaurant that markets sexually explicit dances to children, as promoted on their children’s menu. And, as the governor said, it is not appropriate and the State of Florida will not facilitate it ”.
Alex Fernandez, who performs at R House under the stage name Maritrini, said that R house drag shows are a form of artistic expression and are not sexually explicit.
State officials also called the show a nuisance.
“They are talented dancers. They are talented actors and actresses. For them to be called a nuisance and to simplify their art form is an insult, ”Alvarez said
Alison Davis, who was visiting Wynwood from Atlanta, Georgia, said perhaps business owners can impose age restrictions to avoid harassment.
The owners of R House have hired a lawyer to help them deal with state officials.
“We hope Governor DeSantis, an avid supporter and advocate of the Florida hospitality and small business industry, sees this as what it is, a misunderstanding and that the matter is resolved positively and promptly,” the owners said. company in a statement.
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Local 10 news reporter Christian De La Rosa contributed to this report.
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