Judge David Hittner, a federal judge in Texas, ruled on Tuesday that a new state law targeting drag shows was unconstitutional, saying that the law violated free speech protections and the First Amendment. Though the bill did not ultimately contain language against people dressing as the opposite gender, Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republicans said it was intended to target drag shows, prohibiting suggestive performances in front of children. But Hittner said that a “large amount of constitutionally-protected conduct” would have easily fallen under the new restrictions, like cheerleading, dancing and live theater. LGBTQ+ advocates and a drag queen filed the suit against the Texas attorney general’s office that resulted in a two-day hearing in August. At that time, Hittner temporarily blocked the bill, which was supposed to go into effect on Sept. 1. The legislation follows similar bills in Florida, Montana and Tennessee, all of which had their anti-drag laws struck down before taking effect.
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