Opponents ask judge to block Montana drag reading ban

A coalition of individuals, organizations, and businesses has strongly contested a Montana law that places restrictions on drag performances and prohibits drag reading events at public schools and libraries. In a recent legal development, this group has urged a federal judge to promptly declare the law unconstitutional without resorting to a trial.

In the filed motion for a summary judgment, Upper Seven Law, representing the opposition, contended that lawmakers behind the legislation were driven by an unfounded moral panic, taking aim at drag performers and the LGBTQ+ community. The motion, submitted late Tuesday, asserts that the key facts of the case are not in dispute, making a trial unnecessary.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris had previously granted a preliminary injunction last month, blocking the enforcement of the law. Judge Morris emphasized that the law specifically targets free speech and expression, asserting that both the text of the law and its legislative history reveal an anti-LGBTQ+ bias.

Morris further noted in the injunction that there is no evidence indicating harm to minors from drag-related events or any expression critical of gender norms. This statement reinforces the argument put forth by opponents of the law.