AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott slammed a federal judge’s issuance of a temporary restraining order against Senate Bill 12, a Texas law that could criminalize drag performances statewide.
In a statement on social media Monday, Abbott referred to the temporary restraining order as “absurd.”
“Federal judge in Texas blocks a law I signed that bans sexually explicit drag shows in front of children. This is absurd,” the governor posted on his personal account on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We will fight to have this overturned & to protect our children from this indoctrination.”
The bill itself does not mention the word “drag” but specifies it is targeted at “sexually oriented performances.”
U.S. District Judge David Hittner issued the temporary restraining order against SB12 on Thursday, just before the law had been set to go into effect Friday. Hittner granted the request following a two-day hearing early last week over a lawsuit brought forward by five plaintiffs. Those plaintiffs included Austin-based performer Brigitte Bandit and Extragrams, a local drag production company.
In Hittner’s decision, he wrote the order would only last 14 days while he deliberated on a permanent injunction over the law. If that happens, it’s expected the state will appeal.
Hittner wrote in his ruling Thursday he agreed with plaintiffs that the law is unconstitutional, after hearing their claims during the two-day hearing.
“Based on the evidence and testimony presented at the Hearing, the Court finds there is a substantial likelihood that S.B. 12 as drafted violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution under one or more of the legal theories put forward by the Plaintiffs,” Hittner said. “Regarding the irreparable harm element, the Court considers the impending infringement on the Plaintiffs constitutional rights sufficient irreparable harm to warrant enjoining S.B. 12 while a final judgment is drafted.”