Drag Show in Small Massachusetts Town Bars

ACLU Fires Back on Drag Show in Small Massachusetts Town Bars: Here is What You Need to Know!

A drag act in a bar in a small town in Massachusetts sparks the ACLU’s fire. The American Civil Liberties Union has condemned the officials’ actions in a city in Massachusetts for revoking permission for a local group to organize a Pride event because the event would include a drag show.

The ACLU has stated that the town is violating the organization’s constitutional rights by taking such actions. A request made by the Rural Justice Network to conduct a “Small Town Pride Day” on the town common in June was first granted approval by the select board of North Brookfield at a meeting that took place in March.

At the meeting on April 11, the three-person board decided to vote on whether or not to revoke permission, concluding that a drag show would violate the town’s restrictions on “adult entertainment.” They said it would be possible to carry on with the event even without the drag show.

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In a letter dated April 18, the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) requested that the board restore full approval for the event and asked for a response by Wednesday to “avoid potential litigation.” The committee did not respond to the ACLU’s request.

This link will take you to the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU’s) official website. You can read their complete analysis of the situation and their letter to the community.

ACLU senior attorney Ruth Bourquin said in a statement that:

“We call on North Brookfield and all communities in Massachusetts to recognize that discrimination against those who choose to express themselves through drag is inconsistent with our state and federal constitutions and basic democratic principles. Let’s be clear: Drag is a creative celebration of LGBTQ+ culture, and the government has no right to censor LGBTQ+ people and expression.”

The ACLU has stated that North Brookfield’s action indicates a nationwide trend toward more hostility toward the LGBTQ+ community. The civil rights group claims to be keeping tabs on around 500 anti-LGBTQ proposals in the United States. Among these are measures that would prohibit or restrict drag shows.

Drag Show in Small Massachusetts Town Bars
Drag Show in Small Massachusetts Town Bars

The ACLU stated on Tuesday afternoon that it had not heard back from the municipality and hence had nothing else to contribute. On Tuesday night, the select board will hold an executive session to consider the matter.

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After viewing videos from a drag event in a nearby town that included gestures and words that he deemed improper for children, Board Chair Jason Petraitis said at the April 11 meeting that he changed his mind. He told the conference that:

“The majority of these shows do include sexual innuendo and behavior that exaggerates all aspects of the individual’s sexuality. To wit, drag shows should be deemed adult entertainment.”

He added that the municipality, located 50 miles west of Boston, has a ban on adult entertainment except where permitted by a special permit in industrial zones. On Tuesday, a comment request mail was left for Petraitis, per the associated press.

Elizabeth Brooke Canada, a board member, voted to hold the drag show because she had seen such events before and had never seen anything “unsavory.” In an email, Rural Justice Network board member Tashena Marie expressed her desire for a change of heart on the part of the select board.

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