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A drag queen-themed Pride event in Texas was canceled after the community failed to raise necessary funding, according to local reports.
Dallas Pride scheduled the Night of a Thousand Drag Queens event as a protest against Senate Bill 12, legislation that will restrict public sexual performances that was signed into law June 1 by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Dallas Pride Interim Executive Director Christine Bengston said the event was originally scheduled for July but was later pushed to August to allow more time for fundraising.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a news conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
“We were hoping and were billing it as a last hurrah to come fill the street with drag queens,” Bengston said in an interview with The Dallas Express.
“We thought that people would come together,” she added. “Well, it didn’t work.”
Senate Bill 12 restricts “sexually oriented performances” in the presence of a child or on public property in Texas.
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A Pride parade spectator holds a small rainbow flag during a parade in 2017. (iStock)
According to one of the definitions in the bill, a “sexually oriented performance” means a visual performance that features “a male performer exhibiting as a female, or a female performer exhibiting as a male, who uses clothing, makeup, or other similar physical markers and who sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience” and “appeals to the prurient interest in sex.”
The law does not go into effect until Sept. 1, but it is already being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed a lawsuit this month to block the law.
The lawsuit claims SB 12 “unconstitutionally singles out drag performances as a disfavored form of expression.”
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“In its zeal to target drag, the Legislature also passed a bill so yawning in scope that it criminalizes and restricts an enormous swath of constitutionally protected activity, including theater, ballet, comedy, and even cheerleading,” the lawsuit states.
“By enacting this law, the State has threatened the livelihood and free expression of many Texans, including drag performers across our state. The First and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit such strident attempts to regulate and ban free expression, and SB 12 should be declared unconstitutional and enjoined.”
Fox News Digital’s Greg Wehner contributed to this report.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]