Hot Posts


Supreme Court denies emergency injunction to WT LGBT student group

On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) denied an application by a West Texas A&M University LGBT student group for an emergency injunction to allow a drag show on the campus.

The emergency application, filed by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression on behalf of the campus student group Spectrum WT, asked SCOTUS to “immediately halt West Texas A&M University’s unconstitutional ban on drag performances ahead of our client’s next annual show scheduled for March 22.”

University President Walter Wendler made the announcement online that he would be canceling the drag show for “derisive, divisive, and demoralizing misogyny, no matter the stated intent.”

“Does a drag show preserve a single thread of human dignity? I think not,” Wendler said. “As a performance exaggerating aspects of womanhood (sexuality, femininity, gender), drag shows stereotype women in cartoon-like extremes for the amusement of others and discriminate against womanhood.”

“Any event which diminishes an individual or group through such representation is wrong,” he said.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk previously ruled against the request for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit, where FIRE and Spectrum WT alleged that Wendler “unilaterally canceled a student group’s charity drag show fundraising for LGBTQ+ suicide prevention.”

Kacsmaryk wrote in his arguments that the “proposed event does not obviously convey or communicate a discernable, protectable message.” He added that the Supreme Court precedent for “sexualized conduct is more regulable under various First Amendment doctrines — especially when children are in the audience.”

He added that there is a difference in the “jurisprudence” possibilities of the “reasonable limits” to protection under the First Amendment, and its movement from “thought” to “speech” to “conduct.”

“Because men dressed in attire stereotypically associated with women is not ‘overtly political’ in a category of performative conduct that runs the gamut of transvestism… it is not clearly established that all drag shows are inherently expressive,” Kacsmaryk writes.

“While FIRE is disappointed by today’s denial of an emergency injunction, we’ll keep fighting for our clients’ First Amendment rights,” said FIRE senior attorney JT Morris on the Supreme Court’s order declining to intervene. 

“The Fifth Circuit will hear oral arguments in the case next month. The show is not over.”

Post a Comment