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State threatens Orlando venue’s license over age minimum at drag show

<i></i><br/>The State threatens an Orlando
Lawrence, Nakia

The State threatens an Orlando

By Amanda Dukes

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    ORLANDO, Florida (WESH) — Dozens of protestors and supporters of the “A Drag Queen Christmas” show crowded the sidewalk outside Orlando’s The Plaza Live theater Wednesday night ahead of the performance. Police officers were also there looking on.

The tension surrounds news that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is investigating the show.

Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation says it has received complaints alleging a Dec. 26 performance of the show in south Florida was sexually explicit and marketed to children.

In an email to the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation which operates The Plaza Live, the state agency warned minors should be barred from the upcoming performance, writing, “in short, if you allow children to attend the Drag Fans drag show at your facility, you are putting your license in jeopardy.”

One of the original ads for the show in south Florida promoted it for fans of “all ages” but added it contained adult content.

The show at Orlando’s The Plaza Live was advertised as limited to those 18 and older unless a minor was accompanied by a parent.

Protestor Todd Catella does not believe children should be allowed in.

“I don’t personally have a problem with there being a drag queen event in a rented venue for adults. They can do what they want. It’s the children,” Catella said.

Some protestors compared allowing parents to take kids to the show with child abuse.

“Are they gonna let ‘em start taking ‘em to the strip clubs and watch girls on the pole?” protestor DeeDee Bender said.

But supporters of the show said a parent should be allowed to make that decision for their child.

“I think for a state that has put its heels in the dirt about parental rights they should focus on applying those rights across the board,” supporter Kaity Danehy-Samitz said.

“These shows are fun. We have a good time. This is my daughter here, and I would have taken her even at a younger age to something like this. It’s a Christmas show,” show attendee Brenda Smith said.

WESH 2 News reached out to The Plaza Live to get their reaction to the threat from the state to pull their license if minors were allowed in. We did not receive a response, and at this point, do not know if any minors actually attended the show Wednesday night.

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