Drag performers sue southern Utah city over permit denial

STREET. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — A Utah-based group that organizes drag performances is suing the small, conservative town of St. George for blocking an event marketed as an all-ages show.

Southern Utah Drag Stars and its executive director, Mitski Avalōx, accuse St. George of “gross and ongoing violations of his free speech, due process, and equal protection rights,” says the lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court. They argue that the city invoked an ordinance that had never been applied in a selective and discriminatory manner towards the LGBTQ+ community.

“The City has used its unrestricted discretion under the ordinances to enforce them in a discriminatory manner,” the artists and the ACLU argue in the complaint.

Drag has been the target of renewed scrutiny from Republicans across the country, including in state chambers where lawmakers have sought bans.

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