“In I love Lucy, when Lucy and Ethel dressed up as men, it was entertainment. And that’s all the drag is. It is a form of entertainment. It’s a form of expression,” said lawyer Gary Israel.

Israel says he filed this federal lawsuit against the state of Florida and Governor Ron DeSantis on behalf of the Hamburger Mary’s restaurant in Orlando in response to the governor signing SB 1438 the “Protection of Children” bill.

“The problem is it’s not just affecting me for instance, or gay people or even drag queens. It is affecting everybody. It is a simple free speech issue,” said Israel.

In the lawsuit, Israel says the Florida legislature took action against gay drag shows following a drag performance in south Florida last December where children were in attendance.

Since then, Israel says not only has business dropped 20% for drag shows at Hamburger Mary’s but it has also caused owners of venues who host the shows to operate their businesses in fear despite running their business legally.

“That’s what happens when the government makes people and businesses too scared to do legal things because of the potential consequences. Luckily, we have courts in this country and the federal courts are bound to uphold the us constitution. As far as I know, we still have the right of free speech,’ said Israel.

Governor DeSantis and Florida Republicans have argued the venues are forcing sexual behavior onto children.

The lawsuit states, the “Plaintiff offers “family-friendly” drag performances announced on Sundays where children are invited to attend. There is no lewd activity, sexually explicit shows, disorderly conduct, public exposure, obscene exhibition, or anything inappropriate for a child to see.”

“We throw Christmas parties every year. We have the performance from Hamburger Mary’s here performing this last Passover. We had them performing, doing the story of the Israelites coming out of Egypt in song and dance. The highlight was a man dressed up in like Moses singing everything’s coming up roses,” said Israel.