The Supreme Court has chosen not to permit Florida’s new law targeting drag shows to be enforced while legal challenges are underway. The law, which has faced opposition, cannot be enforced across the state as per the Supreme Court’s decision. This follows a lower court’s prohibition of the law’s enforcement.
Florida had proposed to enforce the law in all areas except for Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando, which had legally contested the law’s constitutionality. However, this request was not granted by the Supreme Court. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas were in favor of allowing Florida’s request.
State Rep. Randy Fine, who sponsored the bill, originally aimed to include a clause explicitly criminalizing drag queens performing for audiences under 18. This broad proposal would have applied to any performance involving cross-dressing and singing, dancing, or lip-syncing . However, this explicit mention of drag shows was not included in the final legislation, suggesting a strategic shift to a subtler approach while retaining the same suppressive intent. The final bill, SB 1438, introduced a vague category of “adult live performance,” deliberately avoiding the term “drag” but implicitly targeting these performances through specific criteria, such as performers wearing fake breasts .
Fine said he did not remember proposing the amendment, so he could not say why he ultimately chose not to pursue it.