America First Legal Files Brief in Lawsuit to Uphold the Protection of Children Act and Prevent Minors from Attending Obscene “Drag Shows” in Florida

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, America First Legal (AFL) filed an amicus brief in HM Florida-Orl, LLC, v. Secretary of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, supporting the State of Florida’s efforts to protect children from lewd and obscene displays or shows. 

Florida law forbids restaurants or bars to knowingly admit a child to presentations that depict or simulate nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or lewd exposure when it falls within the definition of obscenity approved by the Supreme Court of the United States. An Orlando restaurant known as Hamburger Mary’s, which hosts what it calls “family-friendly drag shows,” sued state officials, claiming that Florida’s child-protection law violates the First Amendment. The District Court held that the law was likely unconstitutional and preliminarily enjoined its enforcement against Hamburger Mary’s or anyone else.

In its brief, AFL argues that Hamburger Mary’s lacks standing because it failed to show how its alleged injuries are “fairly traceable” to the state official that it sued. AFL also argues that the district court erred by enjoining the statute’s enforcement across the board when only one restaurant sued the state, and as-applied relief limited to that restaurant was sufficient to redress the plaintiff’s alleged injuries. Finally, AFL argues that state officials should be allowed to enforce the child-protection statute retroactively against anyone who violates it if the district court’s preliminary injunction gets vacated or narrowed on appeal, even if a statutory violation occurred while the district court’s erstwhile injunction was in effect. 

America First Legal is proud to support the State of Florida in this case and will continue fighting to protect our children.

Statement from Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Vice President and General Counsel:

“State legislatures are stepping up across the country to protect children from deranged people who seek to expose them to sexually explicit materials. But a number of courts, including the one here, have entertained lawsuits filed by activists against those laws and issued entirely overbroad injunctions that purport to nullify these righteous laws entirely. We are proud to keep fighting to protect children everywhere, “ said Gene Hamilton.

Read the brief here.

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Photo credit: nadezhda1906/Adobe Stock Images

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