drag shows

Rally-goers express their opposition to Senate Bill 43 during an event that was held on the steps of State Capitol in Little Rock on Jan. 19, 2023. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Bill that initially targeted drag shows becomes Arkansas law

BY: - February 27, 2023

A bill that originally would have restricted where drag performances can be held in Arkansas but now does not mention the word “drag” at all became law Friday. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed 15 bills on Friday, including Senate Bill 43, which was heavily amended earlier this month in order to survive potential legal challenges. […]

Arkansas Senate approves bill to hold libraries accountable for ‘obscene’ material

BY: - February 22, 2023

A bill that would open the door to criminal liability for the distribution of “obscene” content by school and public libraries passed the Arkansas Senate on a party-line vote Wednesday and will next be considered by the House. All six Senate Democrats voted against Senate Bill 81, and 27 Republicans voted for it while two […]

Arkansas Senate approves bill allowing malpractice suits for transgender minors’ health care

BY: - February 21, 2023

A proposed law that would allow medical malpractice lawsuits against Arkansas doctors who provide gender-affirming care to transgender minors passed the Senate on Tuesday with a party-line vote and will go to the House for consideration. Senate Bill 199 would create civil liability for a doctor who “performs a gender transition procedure on a minor […]

Rewritten ‘drag’ bill passes Arkansas House, will return to Senate

BY: - February 6, 2023

The Arkansas House passed a heavily amended bill Monday that prohibits “adult-oriented” performances from public property or using public funds. The original version of the bill sought to restrict drag performances, but the version passed by the House on a party-line vote doesn’t mention the word “drag.” Senate Bill 43, which was rewritten Thursday, defines […]

“Gutted” Arkansas bill no longer targets drag performers or LGBTQ community, activists say

BY: - February 3, 2023

Arkansas legislators amended a bill that originally would have restricted where drag performances can be held but now does not mention the word “drag” at all. Activists who have opposed Senate Bill 43 since it was introduced in January say the heavily amended language no longer targets LGBTQ Arkansans. The bill was amended Thursday for […]

Rep. Tippi McCullough (D-Little Rock) speaks against a bill that would regulate drag performances as adult businesses on the floor of the Arkansas House of Representatives on Feb. 1, 2023. (Screenshot)

Two LGBTQ-specific bills move forward in Arkansas Legislature

BY: - February 1, 2023

Two proposed laws that activists say discriminate against LGBTQ Arkansans progressed in the state Legislature Wednesday. State Rep. Mary Bentley (R-Perryville) is sponsoring both bills and has said repeatedly that they are meant to protect children from sexual behavior that could emotionally damage them. House Bill 1156 would restrict bathroom use in public schools based […]

SESSION SNAPSHOT: Drag queens, snow, masks and education at the Arkansas State Capitol

BY: - January 27, 2023

The third week of Arkansas’ 94th General Assembly began with the Senate’s passage of a bill to restrict drag shows the same as strip clubs and porn shops, and it ended with a long, tense hearing over a school bathroom bill. Between the culture war battles, the state House and Senate have started passing legislation […]

Anti-drag legislation passes Arkansas Senate in 29-6 party-line vote

BY: - January 24, 2023

A proposed law that would limit where drag performances can occur will head to the Arkansas House of Representatives after passing the Senate on a party-line vote Tuesday. Senate Bill 43  defines a “drag performance” as at least one person “exhibit[ing] a gender identity that is different from the performer’s gender assigned at birth using […]

ACLU Executive Director Holly Dickson speaks against Senate Bill 43. At left is bill sponsor Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch). (Photo by John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Arkansas’ would-be religious tyrants gather steam with ‘culture-war’ bills

BY: - January 23, 2023

I grew up Catholic in a deeply Catholic region of Louisiana. I don’t think I met any non-Catholics until after second grade. Imagine my surprise when I realized that not only were there Christians who worshiped differently from me but believed in a totally different Jesus. Imagine my consternation when I learned that some Christians […]