Read Mayor Nelson's response concerning upcoming drag queen show in Amarillo

Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson has responded to citizens, churches, and religious leaders in the city concerning an upcoming drag queen show at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts. Concerns have been expressed over the content of the show and that it's billed as all ages welcome.

Information posted on the Amarillo Civic Center Complex website about 'A Drag Queen Christmas Show' states:

"For the 8th consecutive year, Murray & Peter present, “A Drag Queen Christmas”. Get ready for your favorite queens performing live on stage. We’ve got Winners, Fan Favorites and Miss Congeniality. VIP Meet & Greet tickets are also available. The M&G starts at 6pm. All ages welcome. The show starts at 8pm. There will be a 20-minute intermission.

"Fans who purchase the VIP ticket - Will meet all the queens before the show, take pictures and score autographs. Tour swag includes an official tour poster and laminate with lanyard. If you purchase merch at the venue, the queens will autograph their merch during the M&G. Please arrive by 6pm and check in at the box office.

"Check for the cast performing in your city. Hosted by Nina West & Trinity Taylor."

Hear is the full text of Mayor Nelson's response:

"Dear fellow leader,

"In the past two weeks, several citizens have contacted me with concerns about an upcoming event at the Amarillo Globe News Center. The event is called “A Drag Queen Christmas.” I’m writing to tell you that I share concerns, and I also want to provide you with information about how events are booked at the City’s public facilities.

"First, the City did not recruit this event to Amarillo. The event promoter contacted the City and inquired as to the availability of the Globe News Center on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. The space was available on the date requested and the promoter requested it to be reserved for this event. The promoter met every other requirement necessary to use the Globe News Center including providing references and paying a deposit.

"I share the concerns expressed by citizens about the possible messages and content of this show. However, the City can not refuse to lease a public facility to a person or group based on the content of the event. As long as the content does not violate any law or local ordinance, the City cannot restrict or police the content due to free speech rights.

"Citizens are asking if they can organize a petition to stop the show from coming. Of course, they can exercise their free speech rights and speak out against the show by a petition. However, a petition does not change the laws protecting free speech and access to public facilities and the City must abide by these laws.

"Another request is that the City place an age limit for ticket sales or persons attending the event. As discussed above, the City does not review or police the content of events and is not in a position to recommend or set age limits for events. Event promoters set these limits based on their knowledge of the content of the event.

"I ask for your help in communicating this information to any person in our community that has questions or concerns about this event. I am praying that this event will give our city an opportunity to engage with people who do not know Jesus and don’t share our beliefs. I pray that our kindness and compassion will be attractive to them as they visit our city and that it will lead to questions and curiosity about our beliefs. Most of all, I’m praying that those who don’t know Jesus or His grace will meet Him in Amarillo and be changed forever. I hope you will pray with me for these things.

"Please call or email me if you have any questions or I can help in any way."

Jimmy Witcher, senior pastor of Trinity Fellowship Church, confirmed he was also involved in a meeting with Nelson on Nov. 9 concerning these types of events in the city.

“I am very concerned about this type of event being held in our city and the harmful impact it will have on children allowed to attend. While I support freedom of speech as a privilege afforded us by our Constitution, it does not allow for the violation of our children’s innocence. We have a responsibility to protect children from sexualization and exploitation. 

“At the November 9 meeting, we discussed possible ordinance options our city can look into that seek to preserve our children’s innocence. We had a productive meeting, and I am hopeful our city leaders will identify solutions that would protect children from attending these types of events in the future,” Witcher said.

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