Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office on Wednesday said it would appeal a federal judge's ruling to overturn a law to prohibit drag shows in front of children.
"The Office of the Attorney General will appeal this ruling," a spokesperson for Mr. Paxton told The Epoch Times in an email.
"The infringement of the Plaintiffs' First Amendment rights and the impending chilling effect S.B. 12 will have on speech, in general, outweighs any hardship on the State of Texas," Judge Hittner wrote in a 56-page ruling.
A temporary restraining order previously issued by the court blocked the law from taking effect on Sept. 1.
The law would have prohibited “sexually oriented performances” from taking place on commercial or public property in the presence of individuals under 18.
What It MeansThe ruling blocks government officials from enforcing S.B. 12, which Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law on June 18.
“This fight is far from over, as this ruling will certainly be appealed. S.B. 12 would clearly protect kids from hyper-sexualized performances in the state of Texas. Obscenity in front of kids is never appropriate," Jonathan Covey, director of policy for Texas Values, said in a statement following Tuesday’s ruling.
Mr. Abbott's office did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times' request for comment.
In August, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of The Woodlands Pride, Abilene Pride Alliance, Extragrams, 360 Queen Entertainment, and Brigitte Bandit.
"I am relieved and grateful for the court's ruling," drag performer Brigitte Bandit said in a news release. "My livelihood and community [have] seen enough hatred and harm from our elected officials. This decision is a much-needed reminder that queer Texans belong and we deserve to be heard by our lawmakers."
The event, which was open to children accompanied by a parent or guardian, was to be hosted by WT Spectrum as a fundraiser for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that describes itself as working to "end suicide among LGBTQ young people." The event was dubbed "A Fool's Drag Race," according to the 26-page court ruling.
Lawsuit Against UniversityIn its complaint, Spectrum WT accused the university president of defying the Constitution and barring a recognized student group.
Ten days ahead of the event, Mr. Wendler said the university "will not host a drag show on campus," sparking anger from the student group.
"Should I let rest misogynistic behavior portraying women as objects?" he continued. "While I am not a woman, my best friend I have been married to for over a half-century is. I am also blessed to have daughters-in-law and granddaughters. Demeaning any demeans all. This is not an intellectual abstraction but a stark reality."
The judge said Mr. Wendler’s decision to cancel the drag show was "objectively reasonable."
"There is a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors," wrote Judge Kacsmaryk, citing Sable Communications of California Inc. v F.C.C. (1989).
"Even if clearly established rights were violated, President Wendler's decision was still objectively reasonable."