The Associated Press reports:
A federal judge in Montana is continuing to block enforcement of a law that puts restrictions on drag shows and bans drag reading events in public schools and libraries, saying Friday that the law targets free speech and expression and that the text of the law and its legislative history “evince anti-LGBTQ+ animus.”
The preliminary injunction, granted by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris, prevents enforcement of the law while a lawsuit filed on July 6 moves through the court process. Morris heard arguments over the injunction on Aug. 28.
The state is not trying to establish a new obscenity standard in regulating drag performances, Assistant Attorney General Michael Russell said during arguments over the injunction. “We’re arguing that they’re indecent and improper for minors only,” and that the state has an interest to protect minors from that kind of conduct, he said.
Read the full article.
About the bill’s 22 year-old author:
Unlike some of his older peers in the Montana House, Braxton Mitchell comes from a hard-right youth movement. In 2018, he organized pro-gun marches in opposition to some of his classmates’ “March for Our Lives” demonstrations. He joined Turning Point USA, a well-funded student club, and went on to become an ambassador for the group.
After Donald Trump disputed his 2020 election loss, Mitchell used Twitter to amplify a call for members of Congress to reject electors “from disputed states.”
He also tweeted a picture and video of the far-right paramilitary group the Proud Boys at the pro-Trump “Million MAGA March,” a Nov. 14 demonstration. During Mitchell’s campaign, screenshots circulated of him allegedly tweeting an anti-gay slur.
A federal judge in Montana is continuing to block enforcement of a law that puts restrictions on drag shows and bans drag reading events in public schools and libraries. https://t.co/POKs2wsDJJ
— Montana Standard (@MontanaStandard) October 14, 2023