The administration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, known for his anti-LGBTQ+ stance, is facing criticism for trying to take away the liquor license of a performing arts center in Orlando. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation recently filed a complaint against the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation Inc. for hosting a drag show on December 28th, which was advertised as "all ages."
The complaint argues that the show included sexually explicit songs and dances without expressly prohibiting children from attending. However, the venue left it up to the discretion of parents with a sign that read, “while we are not restricting access to anyone under 18 please be advised some may think the context is not appropriate for under 18.”
Former Florida legislator Carlos Guillermo Smith has spoken out against the complaint, calling it a misuse of regulatory power that can result in severe economic consequences for local businesses. He pointed out that the DeSantis administration is overstepping its bounds in an attempt to target and punish the performing arts center for hosting a drag show that allowed children to attend.
This latest move by the DeSantis administration has sparked outrage among LGBTQ+ activists and allies, who see it as a blatant attack on the LGBTQ+ community and an attempt to stifle artistic expression. The outcome of the complaint remains to be seen, but it is clear that the DeSantis administration is facing growing opposition from those who support equal rights and protection for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.