Hobbs adds 8 more to veto list. This time, half of them are related to drag shows

Published: Saturday, June 17, 2023 - 10:04am
Updated: Monday, June 19, 2023 - 8:29am

Gov. Katie Hobbs’ list of vetoes grew by eight more bills this week. Teacher training and hand counting votes were among them, but several had one thing in common: drag shows.

Four different bills targeted drag performances. One would have barred them from receiving state funds. Others aimed to define them as “adult cabaret” and “adult-oriented business.” One measure would have banned anyone dressed in clothing that “doesn’t match their assigned gender” from singing, dancing or otherwise performing in public at all.

Hobbs explained the sweep of vetoes in a letter, writing that the measures were an attempt to ostracize members of the LGBTQ+ community.

In language reflective of other recent LGBT-related vetoes, Hobbs promised not to support any legislation that attempts to marginalize Arizonans.

Though the final language in those bills that passed the Legislature was watered down to remove specific mention of those shows, Hobbs wrote in part in her executive order, “Intolerance has no place in Arizona.”

Richard Stevens, who has performed in drag as “Barbra Seville” for over 25 years, agreed with Hobbs’ decision.

"A lot of them were just so broad and there’s so many issues like freedom of expression and freedom of speech," said Stevens.

Hobbs’ rejection of those bills and others on Friday brought her number of vetoes to 119 for this legislative session — which has effectively ended — though lawmakers aren’t expected to formally wrap until August.

Politics Gender