Why is this bill being proposed?

The objective is to declare that adult-oriented businesses are associated with a wide variety of adverse secondary effects, including crimes against persons and property, human trafficking, prostitution, potential spread of disease, lewdness, public indecency, vulgarity, weakening of public morality, obscenity, illicit drug use and drug trafficking, negative impacts on surrounding properties and their value, urban blight, litter and sexual assault, trafficking, and exploitation. Because of this, adult-oriented businesses should be separated from sensitive land uses and from each other to minimize the impact of these effects that constitute a harm which the Commonwealth has a substantial governmental interest in preventing and abating.

What businesses are affected by this bill?

This bill seeks to define what is considered an adult-oriented business with the following types of establishments: Adult Arcade, Adult Bookstore or Video Store, Adult Cabaret, Adult Live Entertainment Establishment, Adult Motion Picture Theater, Adult Theater, Massage Parlor (that offers adult services), Escort Agency, and Nude Model Studio.

In the middle of all of these you will find, “establishment that hosts drag performances”.

What is considered an adult-oriented business?

To compare and contrast, all of these business types, with the exception of “establishments that host drag performances”, are defined to be businesses that:
(a) offers for sale, viewing or rental: any book, magazine, periodical or other printed material, photograph, film, motion picture, digital video or audio stream, videocassette, reproduction, slide, or other visual representation that depicts or describes sexual conduct or nudity; or an instrument or device, or paraphernalia that is designed for use in connection with sexual conduct.
(b) any nightclub, bar, restaurant, theater, concert hall, auditorium, or other similar commercial establishment that regularly or predominately features: person who appears in a state of nudity or is semi-nude; live performance, film, motion picture, digital video stream, videocassette, slide or other similar photographic reproduction that is characterized by the depiction or description of sexual conduct or nudity.
(c) a person or business that furnishes, offers to furnish, or advertises the furnishing of an escort as one of its primary business purposes for any fee, tip, or other consideration.
(d) an establishment that offers massage services characterized by an emphasis on sexual conduct or nudity.
(e) a place where a person in a state of nudity is observed, sketched, drawn, painted, sculpted, photographed, or otherwise depicted by another person for money or other consideration.

In the middle of all these you will find, “or a live performance involving male or female impersonators, who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest in sexual conduct, regardless of whether or not performed for consideration, which taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

What does this have to do with drag?

This bill seeks to identify a “drag performance” as an adult-oriented performance in which a performer sings, lip syncs, dances, reads, or otherwise performs before an audience for entertainment while exhibiting a gender expression that is inconsistent with the biological sex formally recognized on the performer’s original birth certificate using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers, and this gender expression is a caricatured, advertised, or featured aspect of the performance taken as a whole.

How will this affect me as a performer or my BUSINESS?

The ultimate objective for this bill is is to implement the following laws for both businesses that are considered adult-oriented, and those that are not:
(a) no adult-oriented business shall be located within one thousand (1,000) feet of any of the following: child-care facility, children’s amusement establishment, YMCA or YMCA facility, youth sports facility, public swimming pool, park, place of worship, playground, public library, recreational area or facility, residence, school, or walking trail.
(b) no adult-oriented business shall be located within one thousand (1,000) feet of another adult-oriented business
(c) a business that is not already established as an adult-oriented business shall not conduct business activities that cause it to become an adult-oriented business while located within one thousand (1,000) feet of the aforementioned areas.

What will happen if me or my business is caught performing drag?

Engaging in an adult performance is a:
(a) Class B misdemeanor for the first offense
(b) Class A misdemeanor for the second offense
(c) Class D felony for the third any subsequent offense

Any business that knowingly allows or hosts an adult performance at which any person under the age of eighteen (18) years is present shall constitute sufficient grounds for:
(a) Suspension or revocation of a license issued under KRS Chapter 243 by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control or the local alcoholic beverage control administrator
(b) Suspension or revocation of any business license or certificate of occupancy
(c) Denial and refusal to renew a business license or certificate of occupancy
(e) Any other action deemed appropriate for the redress of the violation; as determined by the issuing or governing authority.


It’s clear to see that this bill is taking a huge leap to equate “drag performances” and “establishments that host drag performances” with the explicitly sexual and nude performances found at every one of the other adult-oriented businesses found in this bill. Find out more about your rights and how you can fight back at the upcoming Community Town Hall hosted by Drag Daddy Productions and Art Sanctuary! BECAUSE #DRAGISNOTACRIMEKY


1st Reading

March 16, 2023

taken from Committee on Committees, 1st Reading, returned to Committee on Committees

DRAG IS NOT A CRIME: A Community Town Hall & Celebration of Drag

March 14, 2023

Watch the previously aired Livestream for a Community Town Hall with special guest speakers and live public Q&A on the anti-drag bill for Kentucky; followed by, a Celebration of Drag.

Received in House

March 13, 2023

Received in House to Committee on Committees

3rd Reading

March 10, 2023

3rd reading, floor amendment defeated Floor Amendments (1) and (3), passed 26 -6 -1 with Committee Substitute (1), Floor Amendment (2) and Committee Amendment (1-title)

Amendment 2 & 3 Filed

March 9, 2023

Floor amendments (2) and (3) filed to Committee Substitute, posted for passage

Amendment 1 Filed

March 8, 2023

Floor amendment (1) filed to Committee Substitute

2nd Reading

March 3, 2023

2nd Reading, to Rules

1st Reading

March 2, 2023

Reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar with Committee Substitute (1) and Committee Amendment (1-title)

Introduced to Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection

February 14, 2023

Introduced to Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection

Introduced in Senate

February 10, 2023

Kentucky Senate Bill 115 was introduced in Senate to Committee on Committees


Get more detailed information on Kentucky Senate Bill 115, by visiting the Kentucky General Assembly website: https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/23rs/sb115.html