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Ohio Lawmaker Wants To Ban Child Drag Shows

Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster)
Ohio House
Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster)

Social media posts from groups in Lancaster have been abuzz for weeks following a child’s performance in a drag queen show at a local bar. Now the state lawmaker who represents that area has introduced a bill that he says will keep that from happening again.

The bill by Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) would prohibit a performance in which a child simulates sexual activity from taking place in an establishment that is a D liquor permit holder. In essence, that’s a full-service bar.

In a written statement, Schaffer said, “Given our heightened focus on human trafficking and the role money plays in trafficking children, I knew I had to take action to make sure this activity does not occur again."

In December, a nine-year old boy from Perrysburg performed in drag in a Lancaster bar, which happened with the support of the boy’s mother. However there are a lot of questions about what the bill could ban, including other performances by children in venues that serve alcohol.

Schaffer did not return calls prior to the deadline for this story.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.