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US Supreme Court Declines Permission to Texas College Student Group to Host Drag Show on Campus

The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a Texas college student group to host a drag show on campus, agreeing in tandem with the school’s decision to prohibit the performance.

Spectrum WT and two other student leaders of the LGBTQ group filed an emergency petition with the high court demanding that it should be allowed to put on the show at West Texas A&M University. According to the group, the ban violates the First Amendment. 

The litigation has been reportedly pending for nearly one year and was initially filed prior to a scheduled drag performance last year which was later shifted off campus. This year, the group scheduled the show for March 22nd. 

The university’s president, Walter Wendler, had previously declined the group’s request to host the event. Wendler described the performances as “exaggerating aspects of womanhood (sexuality, femininity, gender),” that, he said, “stereotype women in cartoon-like extremes for the amusement of others.” He further said that  the performance was “derisive, divisive and demoralizing.”

The event was rated, “PG-13,” allowing minors to attend only if accompanied by a parent. 

Minors being allowed to attend the performance was a growing concern for US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk  Kacsmaryk, nominated by former President Donald Trump, who stated in September 2023, “the group did not have a First Amendment right to hold the performance on campus.”

“When children are involved,” Kacsmaryk wrote, “the calculation changes.”

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