LIFESTYLE

Drag performers sue southern Utah city over permit denial

May 23, 2023, 3:11 PM

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — A Utah-based group that organizes drag performances is suing the small, conservative city of St. George for blocking an event marketed as a show for all ages.

Southern Utah Drag Stars and its CEO Mitski Avalōx accuse St. George of “flagrant and ongoing violations of their free speech, due process, and equal protection rights,” said the lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court. They argue that the city invoked an ordinance that had never been enforced in a manner that was selective and discriminatory toward the LGBTQ+ community.

“The City has employed its unfettered discretion under the ordinances to discriminatorily enforce them,” the performers and the ACLU argue in the complaint.

Drag has been the target of new scrutiny from Republicans throughout the country, including in statehouses where lawmakers have sought bans.

The city of St. George said it had not been served with the lawsuit as of Tuesday afternoon and did not have any comment.

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Drag performers sue southern Utah city over permit denial