Branson, Missouri, the Ozark vacation destination for millions, is known for its folksy atmosphere that includes amusement parks and bluegrass music. But some residents there have been hosting lewd drag queen shows, too, and bringing innocent children along, until other towns people spoke up in protest.
Arthur Schaper, of Mass Resistance, tells AFN a shouting war broke out after Mayor Larry Milton suggested a compromise that would have restricted the drag shows to a downtown area with tight restrictions. His suggestion was shouted down by homosexual activists who pummeled the mayor with profane emails and messages.
For the other side, there was a glaring problem with the compromise, too.
“The problem was the initial draft of the bill was going to allow adults to take children into drag shows if they were the parents that brought them in,” Schaper recalls. “Not only that, but the original ordinance would have even permitted adults to take kids into drag shows where alcohol was served.”
According to Schaper, Mayor Milton and city aldermen felt cornered by legal threats. So a final vote was coming in mid-July until a Mass Resistance activist in Branson appealed to the national organization for help and advice.
“We provided them a sample piece of legislation from Montana, which had passed earlier this year, and said you can use this,” says Schaper, the group’s national field director.
The state law from Montana found its way to a city council member and was reviewed by legal counsel for the City of Branson. An amended version of the proposed ordinance was presented in late July. It was approved 4-2 by the Board of Aldermen in an August 8 vote.
Now, in Branson, drag shows are confined to a downtown area away from much of the family-friendly attractions. They must also get a city permit and cannot be held within 600 feet of a church, school, or park.
“This ordinance is saying that use is allowed based on our Constitution," Mayor Milton said after the vote, "but we’re just putting up some guardrails."