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Democratic Nebraska Lawmaker Finds Perfect Way To Clap Back At GOP's Anti-Drag Bill

State Senator Megan Hunt has proposed an amendment to ban church youth camps for 'indoctrination' in response to the anti-LGBTQ+ bill.

Twitter screenshot of Megan Hunt

Democratic Nebraska state Senator Megan Hunt has proposed an amendment to ban church youth camps for "indoctrination" in response to GOP-sponsored legislation that would make it a crime for children to attend a drag show.

Hunt is aware that her amendment to LB 371—the bill in question—will not pass but says proposing it nonetheless is imperative to “make a point” about attempts by Republicans around the country who have ramped up attacks against LGBTQ+ people and used drag shows as a scapegoat.

LB 371 defines a drag show as any performance in which the person “exhibits a gender identity that is different than the performer’s gender assigned at birth using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers” and “sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience for entertainment.”

Hunt countered that with her proposal, which states that by that same token, children should not be allowed to attend vacation Bible study or any similar “religious indoctrination” camps, and also filed a motion to kill the entire bill.

Hunt's amendment says “there is a well-documented history of indoctrination and sexual abuse perpetrated by religious leaders and clergy people upon children" at places like church camps, religious retreats, and vacation Bible study which are designed "for the purpose of indoctrinating children with a specific set of religious beliefs.”

Moreover, any religious organization that violates the proposed law would face a Class I misdemeanor, which carries a $10,000 fine.

"No individual under nineteen years of age shall be present at a religious indoctrination camp. Any person nineteen years of age or older who knowingly brings an individual under nineteen years of age to a religious indoctrination camp shall be guilty of a Class I misdemeanor."

Hunt's amendment notes that abusers within churches and other religious institutions "often use events like church or youth-group-sponsored camps and retreats to earn children’s trust and gain unsupervised access to such children in order to commit such abuse.”

It's also offers a counterweight to the ongoing "groomer" hysteria among the right-wing, who've accused LGBTQ+ people of building relationships, trust, and emotional connections with children so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.

People have applauded Hunt's move.

Hunt is the latest state lawmaker to push back against Republican rhetoric about drag performances.

Earlier this week, Democratic Arkansas state Senator Greg Leding made headlines for his takedown of GOP-sponsored legislation to classify drag shows the same as strip clubs.

Leding pointed out Arkansas has a low ranking on more pressing child welfare issues in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, noting that the legislation "will hurt kids, particularly kids who struggle to feel welcome and safe and accepted as though they belong in Arkansas."