Mike Hendrix, an Austin-based lobbyist for the nonprofit organization Texas Arts and Commerce who has been working with Dallas businessmen Mike Ngyuen of Caven Enterprises and Arthur Hood of HV Entertainment, sent Dallas Voice this update regarding Senate Bill 12 today (Tuesday, May 23):

“SB12 has now moved over to the Texas Senate WITHOUT including DRAG or DRAG SHOWS in the legislation! Now we WORK really hard to keep DRAG out of the bill on the Senate side.

Here are several possible outcomes:

    • The Senate can concur with the House and the bill goes as is to the governor, who can then either sign it without the drag language (not likely), veto to it (I put odds on that at 50-50) or let it become law without his signature. If he vetoes it, there is a good chance he will to the Special Session Call if there is a special session.
    • The Senate could NOT concur with the House version and send it to conference committee. If the conference committee agrees to a compromise, the bill goes back to the respective chambers. If both chambers pass the compromise bill on an up-or-down vote, it goes to governor. If either chamber rejects the compromise bill, the bill dies.
    • If the Senate rejects the House amendments and does not name conferees, the bill dies.

The last day for the Senate to concur is Sunday, May 28. We will probably know Wednesday or Thursday what the Senate will do. We will be working senators between now and Sunday.”

LGBTQ advocates have warned that even without language specifically addressing drag and drag shows, SB 12 poses a very real danger, because the vague language still leaves room for interpretations that could significantly restrict drag in Texas.

— Tammye Nash