The administration of Florida governor Ron DeSantis is rescinding the liquor license of a venue that hosted a sexualized drag show open to children.
Through the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, DeSantis on Friday filed a 6-count complaint against the Orlando Philharmonic Foundation Inc., accusing the company of exposing minors to obscene sexual acts during a drag performance in December.
The complaint obtained by Florida Voice News alleged that the foundation advertised the show to all ages as holiday-themed without specifying its “sexually explicit nature.” The DeSantis administration warned the venue prior to the show that it would be expected to ensure children would be barred from entry, writing in a letter that “sexually explicit drag show performances constitute public nuisances, lewd activity, and disorderly conduct when minors are in attendance.” If the company refused to comply, the letter said, it could be subject to penalties up to and including license revocation.
The foundation admitted children in defiance of DeSantis, posting only a disclaimer at the front door stating that “while we are not restricting access to anyone under 18 please be advised some may think the context is not appropriate for under 18,” the letter said. Some children who participated in the event appeared to be less than six years old, according to the letter.
Performers allegedly wore sexually suggestive clothing and prosthetic female breasts and genitalia, which were exposed to the audience in addition to their buttocks. Other disturbing scenes, the letter alleged, included performers simulating masturbation, childbirth, and abortion.
The audience was also subject to sexualized parodies of popular children’s Christmas songs. For example, an adaptation of “All I want for Christmas was my two front teeth” was presented with an allusion to oral fellatio in the line “I’ll sit on his lap, he can put his milk and cookies all between my gap,” the letter explained.
“Governor DeSantis stands to protect the innocence of children, and the governor always follows through when he says he will do something,” Press Secretary Bryan Griffin told the outlet.
In December, DeSantis announced the regulation office would be investigating a similar event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called “A Drag Queen Christmas.” The venue of that show was the Broward Center for Performing Arts Center.