Bartlesville City Council Passes New Drag Show Policy

The Bartlesville City Council narrowly passed an agreement that allows drag shows to continue indoors or at private parties, for the next year.

Monday, April 3rd 2023, 11:06 pm

By: Cal Day


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The Bartlesville City Council narrowly passed an agreement allowing drag shows to continue indoors or on private property for the next year.

The vote came after thousands of people signed a petition to ban adult performances in public.

Big crowds showed up at Monday night’s meeting, prompting a second viewing room to be opened.

There was more than an hour of public comments, with some even threatening recall petitions for the sitting city councilors if they voted in favor of the agreement.

The controversy all started last September when a pride event featuring a drag show happened at Unity Square in Bartlesville. Many voiced their concerns about drag shows being offensive and inappropriate for kids.

The city said more than 2,000 people signed a petition to ban future drag shows from happening.

The city attorney said he worked with Oklahomans for Equality, who put on last year’s event, on different versions of an agreement.

It finally came down to allowing drag shows to happen inside a venue or on private property. The city would also have to provide uniformed police officers as security.

The council ultimately passed the measure by a vote of 3-2. The agreement is for one year and the city attorney said it could be changed if any legislation comes out regulating drag shows.

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