Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Southern Utah drag performers sue town over show permit denial

A group of southern Utah drag performers and the ACLU are suing the city of St. George over its decision to deny permits for a show in a public park. The group says it was discriminatory and violated their free speech and due process.

Southern Utah Drag Stars and its CEO accuse St. George of invoking an ordinance that had never been enforced in a manner that was selective and discriminatory toward the LGBTQ+ community.

The lawsuit marks the most recent development in a fight over drag shows in St. George, Utah, a conservative city 111 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. Since HBO filmed a drag show in a public park for an episode of its series “We're Here” last year, the city has emerged as a flashpoint in the nationwide battle over drag performances as they've garnered newfound political scrutiny in Republican-controlled cities and states.

Anti-drag activists in Utah and throughout the United States have cast the art form as sexually deviant and a subversive attempt to influence children.