DRAGGED: Florida institution files suit over “anti-woke” damages

DRAGGED: Florida institution files suit over "anti-woke" damages

Orlando’s Hamburger Mary’s restaurant is taking its alleged loss in revenue to court but the suit represents much more.

The restaurant and all-around fun place is suing Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida, claiming a new law prohibiting drag shows in front of children violates its First Amendment rights.

Last Wednesday, DeSantis signed another bill giving him another opportunity to decide what’s best for Florida’s children in restaurants, in bathrooms, in selected pronouns, and – most dangerously, in hormone treatment for trans children.

LGBTQ supporters call it the “Slate of Hate.”

According to the Orlando Sentinal, DeSantis said upon signing the bill:

“We are not doing the pronoun Olympics in Florida,” DeSantis said during an event at a Christian school in Tampa. “It’s not happening here.” He spoke at a lectern with a sign that read, “Let Kids Be Kids,” and signed the bills on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.”

It sounds like DeSantis is calling it a utopia, but it is also a plain message.

Hamburger Mary’s filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida seeking a temporary restraining order preventing Florida from shutting down its drag shows.

It is an important lawsuit. If one element of the law violates the Constitution, it makes it more likely that other prohibitions will also be struck down.

As noted above, the lawsuit encompasses far more than drag shows.

The Floridian LGBTQ community states that the law is the “most extensive package of anti-LGBTQ laws passed in one legislative session in Florida’s history.”

It is likely another law that serves Ron DeSantis’s political agenda. This is not DeSantis’s first shot at anything he considers “woke.” (Story continues below):

DeSantis’s unannounced presidential campaign seems more Trumpian than Trump himself, all to assure the MAGAs they won’t lose its anti-woke agenda if they vote for DeSantis.

So far, he is succeeding in implementing the policies but failing in the polls. He trails Trump by 36 points according to a recent CBS News poll.

Hamburger Mary’s will be a formidable foe.

The restaurant opened 15 years ago and has hosted drag performances that include bingo, trivia, and comedy.

On Sundays, the downtown Orlando restaurant has “family friendly” drag shows to which children are invited, according to the lawsuit.

The restaurant fits the definition of an “Orlando institution” and other Orlando “institutions” like Disney World have suffered mightily under DeSantis’s “anti-woke” crusade.

At some point, his bevy of hateful and bigoted laws will violate the Constitution in some fashion and at that point, many might fall.

DeSantis is targeting a specific community and courts view such laws with more scrutiny than those that apply to everyone equally.

For now, Hamburger Mary’s is carrying the water for many Florida “institutions” threatened by DeSantis’s crusade. It would be a surprise if others didn’t join the lawsuit or file their own similar suit.

Federal courts feel less intimidated by the man who runs the state with an iron fist, the fist of a man willing to make life harder for Floridians in favor of the viability of his political agenda.

I can be reached at jasonmiciak@gmail.com and @JasonMiciak

Jason Miciak

Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing.