PA Senator Doug Mastriano’s Plan to Ban Drag Shows

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Republican Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano recently announced his plan to introduce legislation that would effectively ban Drag Queens at pride events across the Commonwealth, including Philadelphia Pride, by banning drag shows on public property or in areas where minors could see.


In a memo posted Monday, and later republished Tuesday, Mastriano’s proposed legislation would place drag shows under the “adult-oriented business” classification, which would put restrictions such as “permitted locations for performances, age of the intended audience, and the scope and appeal for prurient interest.”


In a statement to abc27 on Tuesday, Mastriano said “It is disheartening that legislation like this is needed. Parents have a right to know their children are not being exposed to sexually charged content in a public forum. Drag shows that appeal to minors on school property, libraries, and other public places should not be accepted in any functioning society. My legislation will ensure that this is no longer occurs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”


Mastriano referenced two drag show performances he says were attended by minors, including one at Hempfield School District in Lancaster County last year. His proposal would in effect ban nearly all public displays of drag and drag entertainers, including at Pride events across the Commonwealth including Philadelphia Pride which takes place on public streets and a public park.


No other State Senators were listed as co-sponsors of the bill. Mastriano, who represents Franklin and Adams Counties, lost the November 2022 gubernatorial election to Democrat Josh Shapiro by nearly 800,000 votes, and is a known insurrectionist from January 6, 2021.


If the bill is passed, it could have a major impact on the LGBTQ+ community in Pennsylvania, especially Pride events across the Commonwealth. As such, members of the community and activists will be closely following the bill and its progression through the Pennsylvania State Senate.

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