These 3 Arizona bills would restrict when and where drag shows could be held

Published: Monday, January 9, 2023 - 10:15am

Three Arizona Senate bills aimed at regulating or restricting drag shows in the state were filed Friday.

Republican state Sen. Anthony Kern’s proposed legislation would limit where shows can be performed and at what time of day. His GOP colleague, state Sen. John Kavanagh, filed a separate bill that stipulates show revenue restrictions.

The three bills are Senate Bill 1026Senate Bill 1028 and Senate Bill 1030.

Senate Bill 1026 would restrict the "use of state monies prohibited for drag shows targeting minors."

Senate Bill 1028 would not allow anyone to "engage in an adult cabaret performance in either of the following locations: on pubic property or in a location where an adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a minor."

Senate Bill 1030 would revise statues that relate to adult-oriented businesses — such as adult bookstores, adult theatres and massage parlors — to include establishments that host drag shows.

The bills define drag performers as "a person who dresses in clothing and uses makeup and other physical markers opposite of the person's gender at birth to exaggerate gender signifiers and roles and engages in singing, dancing or a monologue or skit in order to entertain an audience."

A well-known Valley-based drag performer Richard Stevens thinks the bills’ authors have ulterior motives and said, “It’s that ‘angertainment’ that you keep reading about. It’s where you raise money and you get clicks by trying to outrage people.”

Stevens — who performs as Barbra Seville — admits some shows can be racy, but said the bills are a, “solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.”

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