As many of us know, the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, isn’t mucking around. He has recently pulled the liquor license from the Hyatt Regency Miami after news that the luxury hotel hosted a holiday-themed drag show in December with minors present.
The scandalous show included prosthetic genitals, performers rubbing fake breasts on audience members, “simulated masturbation” and even “graphic depictions of childbirth and/or abortion.” Despite the explicit nature of the performance, the Hyatt Regency Miami failed to inform guests of its explicit nature, even allowing minors to attend.
Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) was swift to take action against the hotel, revoking its license for the sale and consumption of alcohol.
Governor DeSantis has made his stance clear, saying “Sexually explicit content is not appropriate to display to children and doing so violates Florida law. Governor DeSantis stands up for the innocence of children in the classroom and throughout Florida.”
The move has been controversial, with many people, including the organization Equality Florida, a local group that advocates for LGBTQ rights, denouncing the move as “selectively weaponizing” arms of the state government against drag performers.
PEN America, a free speech organization, has also denounced the announcement as “deeply concerning”, citing the fundamental tenet of the First Amendment that the government should not punish people simply because it disapproves of the content of their speech.
As a parent and a Floridian, I strongly believe in protecting the innocence of children, and I applaud Governor DeSantis’s decision to revoke the Hyatt Regency’s liquor license.
No parent should ever have to worry about their children being exposed to such explicit content, and it is certainly not appropriate for the Hyatt Regency to allow minors to attend such a show.
They can’t say they weren’t warned.
I believe all parents should take this incident as a warning, and be mindful of what events their children are attending and who they are attending them with.
We should all be vigilant in our efforts to protect the innocence of our children, and I am grateful for leaders in our state like Governor DeSantis who are taking a stand for our children.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.