OPINION: With a new anti-drag bill in Texas, Republicans are once again attempting to use the bounty system to bypass constitutional law
Last Thursday, Texas Republican state representative Steve Toth introduced a bill that would allow anybody in the state to sue someone who hosts or performs in drag in the presence of a child.
Right-wing attacks against drag performers have grown out of the larger gender panic currently gripping the western conservative political world and bleeding into some centrist circles as well. After largely conservative media pundits stoked outrage by sharing misleading photos of a drag show for kids where a performer allegedly exposed herself to the audience (this claim has been debunked), dozens of armed protests against local drag queen story hours have popped up all over the U.S.—and have started to occur in Canada as well.
In Texas’ case, Rep. Toth is borrowing from his party’s anti-abortion playbook by proposing a bounty-type system of enforcement.
Texas’ bounty law ended up bringing down Roe, and some conservatives on the Supreme Court have indicated that LGBTQ2S+ rights are next on the chopping block.