Small Massachusetts town bars drag show; ACLU fires back

NORTH BROOKFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Officials in a small Massachusetts town have revoked permission for a local group to hold a Pride event because it included a drag show, drawing a sharp rebuke from the American Civil Liberties Union, which said the town is trampling on the organization’s constitutional rights.

The North Brookfield select board at a meeting in March at first approved a request by the Rural Justice Network to hold a “Small Town Pride Day” on the town common in June.

But the three-member board voted 2-1 at its April 11 meeting to pull permission, ruling that a drag show violated the town’s restrictions on “adult entertainment.” They said the event could go on without the drag show.

Board Chair Jason Petraitis said at the April 11 meeting that he changed his mind after seeing videos from a drag show in a nearby town that contained gestures and comments that he considered inappropriate for children.

“The majority of these shows do include sexual innuendo and behavior that exaggerates all aspects of the individual’s sexuality,” he said at the meeting “To wit, drag shows should be deemed adult entertainment.”

The town, 50 miles west of Boston with fewer than 5,000 residents, has a ban on adult entertainment except by special permit in industrial zones, he said.


Article URL :