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GOP bill ends federally funded drag queen story hour, other sexually explicit programs for kids under 10

Fox News: Peter Kasperowicz

Dozens of House Republicans proposed new legislation this week that would prohibit the use of federal funds for sexually explicit programs, such as the wave of drag shows and drag queen story hour events that have popped up across the country.

Rep. Mike Johnson’s "Stop the Sexualization of Children Act" is an attempt by the GOP to prevent taxpayers from funding events they say expose kids to sexualized themes and "radical gender theory" programs at young ages.

"The Democrat Party and their cultural allies are on a misguided crusade to immerse young children in sexual imagery and radical gender ideology," said Johnson, a Louisiana Republican who is vice chair of the House Republican Conference.

"This commonsense bill is straightforward," he said. "No federal tax dollars should go to any federal, state or local government agencies, or private organizations that intentionally expose children under 10 years of age to sexually explicit material."

"State and local library systems, museums, and other educational institutions that receive Federal grants have purchased sexually-oriented literature and materials that target preadolescent children and teach them about concepts like masturbation, pornography, sexual acts, and gender transition," the legislation states. 

"Private organizations, State government agencies, and local government agencies have made use of Federal grants to host and promote sexually oriented events like drag queen story hours and burlesque shows," it continues.

As examples, Johnson’s office said federal funds were used through the Department of Health and Human Services to arrange a drag queen performance for kids and said the Department of Defense has been funding drag shows at military bases.

The bill would also prevent private organizations from using federal funds this way. Johnson noted that Planned Parenthood, a group that receives hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government, is pushing local officials and school boards to teach radical gender theory.

Under the legislation, no federal funds could be used for any sexually-oriented program for kids under 10, and specifically prohibits funds from being used to host or promote events in which adults "dance salaciously or strip for children."

The bill defines "sexually-oriented" as "any depiction, description, or simulation of sexual activity, any lewd or lascivious depiction or description of human genitals, or any topic involving sexual orientation, gender identity, gender dysphoria, or related subjects."

It also defines "stripping" as "any act which involves the removal or simulated removal of clothing in a sexual manner for the entertainment of one or more individuals."

The legislation has almost no chance of being law under Democratic control and with just a few weeks left before the end of the current Congress, but Johnson told Fox News Digital it is an issue that's likely to come up next year.

"We do not anticipate that Democrats will schedule a vote on this commonsense proposal while they run the floor, but we intend to keep pressing the issue in a Republican majority," he said.