Rep. Karr introduces measure to stop the incitement of “lustful thoughts” by men in dresses.

You know how sometimes the legislature takes a little problem, and goes too far in addressing it?

Representative Chris Karr has apparently done just that with brand new House Bill 1116, which purports to “prohibit the use of state resources in hosting lewd or lascivious content” in response to the SDSU Drag show that invited children to a decidedy adult event.  As related in the bill..

Section 1. That chapter 13-1 be amended with a NEW SECTION:

The Board of Regents, the Board of Technical Education, or any institution under their control; a state agency or any institution under the control of a state agency; or a public school district may not authorize or expend public moneys or use any state-owned facility or property to develop, implement, facilitate, host, promote, or fund any lewd or lascivious content.

For the purpose of this section, the term, lewd or lascivious content, means any program, event, or literature presenting obscene live conduct, as defined by subdivision 22-24-27(10), or obscene material, as defined by subdivision 22-24-27(11), that depicts, describes, or simulates, as applicable:

(1) Any specific sexual activity, as defined in § 11-12-1;

(2) Any specific anatomical areas, as defined in § 11-12-1;

(3) Nude or seminude adults, as defined in § 11-12-1;

(4) Adults who remove clothing for the entertainment of one or more individuals; or

(5) Any physical human body activity, whether performed alone or with other persons, including singing, speaking, dancing, acting, simulation, or pantomiming, where a performer exhibits a gender identity that is different from the performer’s biological sex through the use of clothing, makeup, or other physical markers, for the predominant purpose of appealing to a prurient interest.

Read the whole(some?) bill here.

Most of the first section is not disagreeable for the most part, although I’m not sure how you can have “literature presenting obscene live conduct.

No one wants taxpayers to pay for strip shows on campus.  But then we get to the weird part, subpoint (5):

(5) Any physical human body activity, whether performed alone or with other persons, including singing, speaking, dancing, acting, simulation, or pantomiming, where a performer exhibits a gender identity that is different from the performer’s biological sex through the use of clothing, makeup, or other physical markers, for the predominant purpose of appealing to a prurient interest.

I’d love for them to explain how they are going to interpret and enforce this one.

“Any physical human body activity, whether performed alone or with other persons, including singing, speaking, dancing, acting, simulation, or pantomiming..”  So, if one of the University Drama departments puts on a production of Victor/Victoria, which is very much a musical about a woman who pretends to be a man.. pretending to be in drag.. they’re going to be bumping up against the law?

Yes, yes, I know. There is another element. They aren’t going to ban it just for the sake of musical theatre. They are only banning the expenditure of public funds if it is for the predominant purpose of appealing to a prurient interest.   Which begs the question, what is a prurient interest?   According to federal courts, a court case footnote defined prurient interest as “having a tendency to excite lustful thoughts.” Roth v. U.S.354 U.S. 476 (1957).

Well, how are they going to know ahead of time if the dude in the dress on stage is going to excite lustful thoughts in a member of the audience? Will there be a designated university lust-checker, or will they bid that out on state contract, so they know ahead of time if the activity will be fundable if a man dons a dress, or a woman wears trousers on a campus stage?  This legislation is silly at best, and that’s the problem. Whenever you put things like this in place, it’s just more government at it’s worst.

Do we need bans on singing or pantomiming as the opposite sex placed into statute? No. Because runaway puritanism is no different than runaway wokism. Both only promise more government and nobody is asking for it.

When the Board of Regents recently moved forward a motion to “draft a policy about minors’ attendance of campus events,” that actually was a reasonable and proportionate step in addressing the situation before another campus group tries to have something as offensive as a “kid-friendly” drag show.  The need for some legislators to come in and try to propose a law is not government acting as minimally as possible to solve a problem. Which is what is needed as opposed to a soapbox.

The BOR should have the opportunity to resolve the issue. Only if it keeps happening should legislation be discussed.  But not until then.

24 thoughts on “Rep. Karr introduces measure to stop the incitement of “lustful thoughts” by men in dresses.”

  1. Always with these national grievance issues, can’t we give it a rest? It wasn’t that long ago when we were all worked up about Muslims taking over the country, then the border, now its how people dress. How would they enforce this for the theater or improv? Give it up you party of big government, let people have the freedom to decide what they are entertained by without involving government. You don’t have to like it, just let people live their lives, you don’t know what is better for them than they do.

  2. I think Representative Karr has just proposed censoring and banning many of Shakespeare’s plays, including most of the comedies which feature cross dressing, (originally men played all the parts) and mistaken identity including gender confusion.No more “As You Like It”, “Two Men From Verona” or “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” Or countless others, including the Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon movie, “Some Like It Hot”, a classic directed by Billy Wilder.

    1. All that is fine as long as the good Rep doesn’t have to be subjected to OTHER people doing something they like.

  3. Drag shows. They’ve been around for many decades. This is what keeps them up at night?

    The morality police won’t stop there. They’ll take aim at books they don’t like. Restrict television shows and movies. Prohibit pornography. All in the name of… the children.

    Some even want to curb the availability of contraception. It won’t end until YOU stop sending them to Pierre.

    1. The key words here are “may not authorize or expend public moneys”…yep, taxpayer money.
      If you want to have drag shows, story-times or pageants, etc. fine, have them. Just don’t have them in venues paid for by taxpayers or have them funded by taxpayers.
      See…freedom, easy beans, everybody gets what they want.

      Just don’t put our public entities in jeopardy of litigation of pornography or distribution of such. Lots of very thin rationalizations listed above as defense of a growing problem in South Dakota, don’t be so open minded that your brain falls out.

      “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams

      His words, not mine.

      1. Litigation of pornography? What are you talking about?

        The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy.

        George Washington

        Fun cherry picking statements, eh?

          1. Let me clarify above post …phone wont let me use “stage direction”.

            Sorry, insert in there…thanks.

            As far as the GW comment.

            Yep at statement, that’s exactly what that is, not an actual quote.
            Hell, you didn’t even use quotation marks. Your english teacher is rolling in their grave.
            See it’s easy.
            “The interwebs is serious business.” – Abraham Lincoln

            1. Do you really want to go quote for quote about the founders’ stance on the entaglement of politics and religion?

      2. “a state agency or ANY institution under the control of a state agency; or a public school district may not authorize or expend public moneys OR USE any state-owned facility or property to develop, implement, facilitate, host, promote, or fund any lewd or lascivious content.”

        There are a million ways to violate that. It is not enforceable. And shouldn’t be. You are control freaks.

        1. How, exactly, would you violate that phrase? I’d like an example please.
          As far as it would be unenforceable, are you suggesting that penalties be amended to the bill?
          Tell you what, tomorrow morning, go run naked through the nearest grade school playground and let me know what happens. Let me know if there is any penalties for your “show”. I’ll help you out, there will be. If you go streaking through the school yard you’ll have problems, try it in a public park, same deal I’ll bet.
          Do it in your own yard, nobody cares. Except your neighbors probably wont be thrilled about it.

          1. “streaking”? Get a grip.

            You don’t want a certain segment of the population to be able to use public facilities. Places that their taxes pay for too.

            Your proposed law is a whole lot of garbage meant to attack trans folks and drag queens and, ultimately, gays in general. Virtually no child saw the drag show at SDSU. So what is your real agenda?

            A child can see 10,000 murders on TV and you yawn. But a kid sees a drag queen in a parade on a public street and whoa!! OMG. But parents can allow them to see drag shows on TV or in the movies anyway. You going to ban that?

            I will tell you what does REAL harm. Passing laws like this that make a segment of our community feel unwelcome. And making them a more frequent target of attack, which this would do. But… do you care?

            1. Geez, just throw out all the strawman arguments instead actually acknowledging the point in question with a simple “get a grip”. How disingenuous of you.

              You cant allow our taxpayers to be open to litigation to decency laws already on the books. It’s that easy.
              This isn’t about morality, it’s about being proactively intelligent to the very real possibility of someone taking things too far.

              Its a funny thing, one moment leftists want total government intervention (mask / vaccine mandates) and the next moment don’t touch my drag queen story time at the local library.

              Pick a side already. Freedom is scary.

              1. I believe the first smallpox vaccine mandate was initiated in 1855 for Massachussets school children. Some of the first drag shows to become popular were in Harlem… 100 years ago.

                You act like this is some new attack on America’s freedoms. Hardly.

      3. Another huge time sucker in Pierre.
        Put Karr, Randolph, Mulally, and Frau-Mueller in a room and see what lunacy comes out regarding how you and I should live our lives. These morons say they are “constitutionalists” yet everything they do is contrary to that very ideal. SDSU and the BOR have and are handling this appropriately. These folks need to go live on one of the Hutterite colonies so they can enjoy the “puritan life”. (I mean no offense to my colony friends!)

  4. It’s that time of the year in South Dakota when it makes national news and the legislature is in session. As the legislators walk into chambers one might as well say “Bring in the Clowns!”

    1. What about midnight showings in the Student Union of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” with prizes for participation?

  5. The sponsor confuses Drag Shows with lewd and lascivious conduct that he believes is “obscene” as defined in SDCL. This says more about the sponsors that paints a disturbing and strange version of what they believe meets the definition of obscene. As Justice Stewart famously said in 1964 obscenity case “I know it when I see it”, the sponsors have all kinds of ideas that typical drag shows fit the bill simply because dudes are dressing up as women.

    I submit that the sponsors may be spending too much time across the river at The Hop Scotch, and that is how they have established their baseline understanding. If a drag show appeals to the prurient interest of these lawmakers, it says more about how twisted they are then about the mainstream of adults. Quit wasting time and do some real legislating!

  6. Yet again. Another Rapid City area legislator is trying to legislate how you raise your children. Scott Odenbach just introduced legislation to prohibit parents from allowing their children to see drag shows.

    “It states that having a minor attend a drag performance constitutes the crime of “disseminating material harmful to minors,” a class 1 misdemeanor. There is no such thing as a “family-friendly” drag show, and this should never happen again in our great state.” (Kelo News)

    Minors have seen drag shows on television and in the movies for decades. It’s harmless. Drag is seen at Pride parades as well with thousands and sometimes millions in attendance. I believe there are over 5,000 attendees in Sioux Falls each year. Some take their children with them. I have not seen evidence of harm to anyone.

    Parents need to let these busybody legislators know that they should mind their own business. YOU are in charge of your children’s lives.

    Their next logical step is to ban books, tv shows and movies that they haven’t approved. They will never stop trying to control your life. And they will always claim… “it’s for the children”.

    1. Just think of the trouble a guy would be in if the morality police discovered that he was in a witch costume for Halloween. And children happened to see the dude.

      Oh my.

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