TALLAHASSEE – State Representatives Randy Fine (R-FL) and Anna V. Eskamani (D-FL) had a candid back and forth in the Florida House over the Protection of Children Act. The legislation looks to keep children from attending adult live performances (such as drag shows), introduced by Rep. Fine.
Throughout the day, one of Rep. Eskamani’s rallying cries was “let people pee in peace.”
During the questionary portion of the proceedings, Rep. Eskamani asked Fine if the consequences of his bill will have a “chilling effect on specifically drag performances,” especially with the “harsh penalties” being applied.
Rep. Fine responded, “I certainly hope it will have a chilling effect on adult live performances that target children.”
Throughout the proceedings, Fine stayed consistent within the language of his bill, reminding the members of the House and those in attendance that his legislation does not specifically mention drag shows, but any adult live performance that includes lewd acts with children present.
Eskamani pressed Fine on what shows that “target children” mean. Fine stated that they are “adult live performances that allow children to attend.”
He expanded upon this question, saying that “I would be clear, this bill has absolutely nothing to do with adult live performances put on by adults, which is 18 and up and for adults. Not only would I not vote for a bill that does that (prosecute adult live performances that do not include children in attendance), I wouldn’t sponsor one. This bill exclusively deals with the performances of an adult nature that children are allowed to attend.”
Finally, Eskamani asked Fine about what this bill would add in congruence to the Florida statutes currently. Underneath the surface, it was a sly accusation that this bill is more for headlines rather than results.
“Representative Fine, in Florida statutes, we already prohibit knowingly promoting ‘obscene shows, exhibition or performance by live persons before an audience.’ So what does your bill do that’s already prohibited under current law?”
Fine responded, “I think the bill is a couple 100 lines of things that we’re going to do. It defines what is an adult live performance, which is not currently defined. It also says the penalties for private facilities who choose to allow minors in.”
The bill would not punish parents or anyone who bring a minor to an adult live performance, but those who admit the minor into the production.