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Colorado House Dems Vote Against Making Indecent Exposure to Children a Felony, Argue It Targets Drag Shows

Colorado House Democrats are sending a message that any legislation that restricts ‘drag shows’ performed in front of children should not be passed. Even if it is legislation against “indecent exposure” and performing sexual acts with children.

“27 Democrats in the Colorado House of Reps just voted against making indecent exposure to minors a class 6 felony,” Greg Price reported, citing the Colorado House Republicans. “One Democrat said that the bill ‘targets’ drag shows and the transgender community.”

“These types of laws have been used to ban drag shows to target individuals who use the restroom of the sex that they identify with a public restroom to charge them with felony charges,” one Democrat lawmaker argued. “I am very concerned about the attacks against the transgender community that are happening across the country.”

“When I initially read this bill, it did not even come to mind for me either as an advocate, but as I’ve looked at the bills and as I’ve talked to my colleagues who are fighting these types of bills across the country, it’s very clear to me that the language is very much mirrored in some of the laws that have been used to target members of our community because of who they are,” she continued.

The Colorado General Assembly is attempting to pass HB23-1135, which is entitled, “Concerning the offense classification for indecent exposure in view of a minor, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.”

“Under current law, indecent exposure is a class 1 misdemeanor; except that it is a class 6 felony for a third or subsequent offense,” says the legislation summary. “The bill makes indecent exposure a class 6 felony if committed in view of a person who is under 18 years of age.”

The text of the bill defines the terms of “indecent exposure.”

“Indecent exposure – definitions. (4) Indecent exposure is a class 6 felony if the violation is committed: (a) Subsequent to two prior convictions of a violation of this section or of a violation of a comparable offense in any other state or in the United States, or of a violation of a comparable municipal ordinance; or (b) when the person who commits indecent exposure knew there was a child in view of the act and the person is more than eighteen years of age or more than four years older than the child.”

The bill adds that, “as used in his section, unless the context otherwise requires: (A) “child” means a person under fifteen years of age. (b) ‘Masturbation’ means the real or simulated touching, rubbing, or otherwise stimulating of a person’s genitals or pubic area for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of the person regardless of whether the genitals or pubic area is exposed or covered.”

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.