A federal judge in the Southern District of Texas today ruled the state’s drag ban, Senate Bill 12, is unconstitutional and issued a permanent injunction blocking the legislation from becoming law.
The ruling stops the Texas Attorney General and other government officials from enforcing any provisions of the ban. Before issuing this permanent injunction, the court previously issued and extended a temporary restraining order, which prevented the law from going into effect Sept. 1.
“Today’s ruling blocks a law that threatens some of the most cherished First Amendment freedoms we all hold dear,” said ACLU of Texas attorney Chloe Kempf. “SB 12 attempts to suppress drag artists and the LGBTQIA+ community, and its steep criminal and civil penalties would harm Black and Latinx transgender Texans the most. As the court recognized, SB 12 is also vague, over-broad and chills entire genres of performances that are not obscene or inappropriate, from high school Shakespearean plays to the Nutcracker ballet to the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.”
— from staff reports