Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, through the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DPBR), has filed a formal 6-count complaint against the Orlando Philharmonic Foundation Inc., for exposing minor children to lewd sexual acts during a drag show that took place in Orlando on December 28, and will be revoking the organization's liquor license.
As The Floridian first reported back in December 2022, Gov. Ron DeSantis warned venues that if they hosted the controversial “A Drag Queen Christmas” performance that allow sexualized acts to be performed and displayed at events where children were present, his administration would seek legal and possibly criminal action against those involved.
Fox News and many other national media outlets went on to pick up the drag show story.
Gov. DeSantis quickly announced that the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) had formally begun to investigate the allegations that minors were exposed to inappropriate adult behavior.
After a Fort Lauderdale drag show video showed children in the audience of the performance, Floridian Publisher Javier Manjarres attended the Miami drag show event on December 27,
At the Miami show, Manjarres confirmed that minors were attending the events by interviewing a mother and her 12-year-old daughter.
Some of the examples of the sexualized and sexual acts the complaint contains are, "intentionally exposing performers' prosthetic female breasts and genitalia to the audience;" "intentionally exposing performers' buttocks to the audience;" "simulating masturbation through performers' digitally penetrating prosthetic female genitals;" and easily the most unsettling "graphic depictions of childbirth and/or abortion."
More egregiously, the venue explicitly defined itself as "all ages welcome." As the complaint cites, whatever plausible deniability the show has to defend itself is a barely-visible piece of paper taped to a door reading, "while we are not restricting access to anyone under 18, please be advised some may think the context is not appropriate for under 18."
Potential charges for the show include a lewd or lascivious exhibition to victims under 16, using the venue for lewd activity knowing children are present, unlawful exposure of sexual organs in a vulgar/indecent manner to children (including fake ones), knowingly promoting and performing in an obscene act in front of minors, disorderly conduct, and maintaining a public nuisance.
The entire complaint can be read HERE.
The complaint includes images of minors at the event, as well as sexualized stage acts during the drag shows.
In addition, The Floridian has also learned that this is the first of possibly several more complaints that will be filed. The investigation into these drag shows is ongoing, and charges could be filed against both the Fort Lauderdale and Miami venues in the coming days and weeks.
In reply of The Floridian's request for comment, DeSantis's press secretary Bryan Griffin stated"
On December 28th, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) warned the Orlando Philharmonic Foundation, Inc. against hosting a sexually explicit show with children present. The venue proceeded with their plans and, according to an investigation by the Department, the venue (Respondent in the complaint) violated Florida statutes as outlined in the attached complaint. Therefore, the Department is revoking the venue’s license for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The complaint is attached in full, with exhibits,"stated Griffin.
Governor DeSantis stands to protect the innocence of children, and the governor always follows through when he says he will do something.
This story is developing. Publisher Javier Manjarres contributed to this story.