Orlando Philharmonic under fire as DeSantis files complaint about holiday drag show

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) filed a formal complaint this week against the Orlando Philharmonic organization for a holiday event that featured drag performers.

The complaint was filed after an investigation was ordered in late December after the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation hosted a Christmas-themed drag event. At the time, the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) claimed it had received several complaints about the event, including reports of sexual content and selling alcohol at an event open to minors.

DBPR and DeSantis’ office released a statement in December announcing the investigation, and explaining that DBPR would report its findings to the governor. This week, the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, a department of DBPR, filed a complaint claiming the investigation had shown the Orlando Philharmonic had violated state laws by serving alcohol at an event that allowed audience members who were under legal drinking age, and presenting “explicit” sexual content in front of minors 16 years or younger.

The complaint specifically accuses the organization of failing to disclose that parts of its “A Drag Queen Christmas” event were sexually explicit in its pre-show promotional materials. The event’s advertising billed the show as “all ages.” A letter sent to the organization prior to the event from DBPR warned the organization that it may face consequences if it invited and allowed children to an event that amounts to “public nuisance(s), lewd activity, and disorderly conduct when minors are in attendance.” The Orlando Philharmonic placed signage at the event’s entrance warning that some parts of the show may not be appropriate for younger viewers.

The organization faces losing some of its licenses if it is found to be in violation of state law.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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