‘We will not be erased’: Opponents rally against Nebraska bills on drag shows, LGBT issues

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Members of the LGBTQ community rallied at the State Capitol on Friday in opposition of several bills, including one that would prohibit minors from attending drag shows.

Organizers said their community is facing a burden because of several bills introduced in the Legislature. 

“It is actually a part of this national agenda to erase trans and queer people from public life,” said Abbi Swatsworth, executive director of OutNebraska. “And we say, ‘We will not be erased.’”

SEE ALSO: Bill banning gender-affirming health care for youth advances in Nebraska Legislature

The group testified Friday against LB 371, sponsored by Sen. Dave Murman.

If passed, the bill would prohibit anyone under 19 from attending a drag show. Anyone under 21 would be barred if alcohol is served at the show.

“The bill is about protecting children,” Murman said. “Anything, especially for young children, that might be confusing for them as to their sexual identity, I don’t think is a good idea.”

Organizations opposing the bill said it’s an unconstitutional censorship attempt.   

“LB 371 is a violation of the right of free speech and free expression,” said Jane Seu with the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska. 

Murman introduced an amendment to clarify the language of the bill. He said the proposal only covers drag artists who perform adult entertainment. 

“Some kind of entertainment that has a sexual element to it or a prurient element to it,” Murman said. 

As written, the bill would make it a misdemeanor to knowingly bring a minor to a drag show. 

Business or nonprofit owners who host drag shows could also face a misdemeanor charge if someone underage attends the show.

Categories: Capitol News, Nebraska News, News, Top Stories