Really, the headline says it all:
A furry fandom con in Florida just announced it would ban minors based on the governor's ridiculous lawshttps://t.co/oC65zi4Xz3
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) May 25, 2023
And much of the reaction can be summed up by this Tweeter linking to a CBR article on the subject:
— (Tom) GoinEasy9🌊🌊🌍 (@GoinEasy9) May 28, 2023
The gist of all of this is that there is an furry convention that takes place regularly in Orlando, Florida, and now they won’t admit children to it.
Yes, really. That’s what has people upset.
With all these ‘liberals panic about a conservative law’ stories, it helps to start with the law itself, to see if they have real cause for concern or if they are jumping at shadows. What they are complaining about is commonly referred to as SB 1438, which has been signed into law.
It does various things to punish government officials who permit an ‘adult live performance’ in front of a minor and allows for various official licensing-based discipline for various kinds of establishments if they allow for such a performance. Of course, the key issue is defining that term, ‘adult live performance,’ and this is what the statute says on the subject:
‘Adult live performance’ means any show, exhibition, or other presentation in front of a live audience which, in whole or in part, depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or specific sexual activities as those terms are defined in s. 847.001, lewd conduct, or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts when it:
1. Predominantly appeals to a prurient, shameful, or morbid interest;
2. Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community of this state as a whole with respect to what is suitable material or conduct for the age of the child present; and
3. Taken as a whole, is without serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for the age of the child present.
As pointed out in Alexander v. State, 290 So. 3d 65 (Fla. 4th Dist. 2020) when discussing a different Florida statute, it is almost a word-for-word quote of a New York Statute upheld by the Supreme Court in Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968). There are principled reasons to object to the Supreme Court’s doctrine that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment, but this is not a new or innovative change in the law. And, frankly, we feel very differently about obscenity laws that prevents adults from seeing what they want, versus laws preventing children from seeing that kind of garbage.
Please note that this is the same law that is said to ban drag performances, even though the law has no reference at all drag or even the sex or gender of the participants. And, of course, the law has no reference to ‘furries,’ either.
But this has nonetheless induced panic among the furries, leading the organizers of this convention to release the following statement:
Many have raised concerns about recent changes in Florida legislation. After reviewing Florida SB 1438 it has been decided that for legal reasons and protection of our attendees, our venue, and the overall convention, Megaplex 2023 attendees must be 18 years of age at the time of registration pickup. Megaplex has welcomed younger fandom members and their families since its inception and making this change was very difficult… It is our hope that this change is temporary and that we can welcome members of all ages back next year. With this in mind, the public decorum portion of the Code of Conduct as well as standards for programming, attire, and behavior in convention space will not be changing and will continue to be enforced as has been in the past.
But since the law only bans obscenity—really hard-core porn with pretty much no other redeeming value—we had to question what exact code of conduct there was. So, God help us, we checked out the website. Under ‘public decorum’ they include gems like:
Clothing may not be overly revealing or inappropriate to the atmosphere of the convention, such as fetish-related garb and accouterments. Discrete wearing of collars is acceptable, but leashes are not.
Well, glad to see they are drawing the line at leashes. Also:
Public displays of affection beyond what is appropriate for polite company are frowned upon. Holding hands, hugging, chaste kissing, and the like are fine; anything beyond that is best taken to your hotel room.
Props, toys or accessories capable of causing injury, discomfort, or damage to clothing, costumes or property, or create a security risk are not permitted in convention space. This includes (but is not limited to) scooters, wheeled boards (such as ‘Hoverboards’), radio-controlled drones, laser pointers, water guns, Nerf or other dart guns, and Silly String.
For the sake of our and your sanity, we are not going to go through everything these policies say, but if they mean what they say, we don’t see how anyone would even get close to the line between freedom of expression and obscenity.
But that’s the rub. Do they mean what they say? Because right on the front page it says:
‘Be anything. Do anything!’ doesn’t jive well with a detailed code of conduct that keeps things roughly PG rated. So, logically, one of these statements shouldn’t be taken literally, but which one? We tend to think a slogan is more likely to be BS than a code of conduct, but that’s just an educated guess.
Those are the facts. Now, onto the reactions:
— 𝕂𝕣𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕊𝕡𝕖𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝𝕂🇦🇽 (@CallMeK1123) May 28, 2023
I'm not going to subscribe just to read this pro-fetish-in-front-of-minors article, sickos https://t.co/PCPPnJSSN5
— FilmLadd (@FilmLadd) May 28, 2023
Thank God! DeSantis is all in on protecting our children. Heck.. starting in July down here Pedophiles can get the death penalty!
Seems the Rolling Stone has an issue with protecting children?
— Xpedience #TeamSanity (@xpedience) May 28, 2023
What happened to that "government should be so small you shouldn't even notice it" motto that Republicans have?
— Rye the squat cobbler enthusiast (@RyeisFox) May 26, 2023
If you want to expose children to obscenity, we are perfectly fine with people noticing the government.
You mean I got my kids HPV and rabies vaccinations for nothing??
— 🏼💉🇺🇦Hollaria Briden, Esq. & Ally (@HollyBriden) May 28, 2023
Please note, Hollaria is best described as a joke account.
So laws that protect children in Florida is ridiculous?
— La Reina🇺🇸Creole🇩🇴🇯🇲🇵🇷🇹🇹🇨🇺🇭🇹🇲🇽🇨🇴 (@LaReinaCreole) May 28, 2023
Most of the furries I know want cons to be 18+ spaces, sounds good to me. Children do not belong at these events. https://t.co/uj1moy7NvN
— Krieg Blackpaw (@Krieg_Black) May 29, 2023
Why do they say it like it's a bad thing? https://t.co/URSvx4pGNu
— 🦝GØDDAMNITJEREMY🦝 (@G0DDAMNITJEREMY) May 29, 2023
It looks like we're now going to be calling it the LGBTQ+F (the MAP is silent).
I'm really just here for the ratio. https://t.co/icyVOUZQE4
— Fred Sargeant (@FredSargeant) May 29, 2023
Why do you want kids there? Do yall know what goes on there?
— General Catton (@TheGenCatton) May 28, 2023
Imagine being upset about protecting minors from attending a sexual fetish convention
— R. Roz (@reeseonable) May 28, 2023
— siraj hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) May 28, 2023
Please note, dear reader, we believe Mr. Hashmi is joking. However, we are aware of several instances of people being suspended from Twitter over similar jokes as alleged incitement of violence.
So…. they will miss out on this? pic.twitter.com/kNdL9ttfRO
— Red-pill the Blue-grass ( Rob ) (@Alphatileist) May 28, 2023
Actually, we read the code of conduct as forbidding this.
Very first line of the article: “FLORIDA GOV. AND GOP presidential nominee Ron DeSantis has successfully sucked the pleasure out of many of life’s little joys, from drag brunches…”
You people need to get out of your mom’s basement, if in the course of describing “life’s little…
— Gus Zalinsky (@Gus_Zalinsky) May 28, 2023
The full Tweet reads:
Very first line of the article: ‘FLORIDA GOV. AND GOP presidential nominee Ron DeSantis has successfully sucked the pleasure out of many of life’s little joys, from drag brunches…’
You people need to get out of your mom’s basement, if in the course of describing ‘life’s little joys’, the first thing that comes to mind are ‘drag brunches’. FFS
Yes and how did they suck that joy out of life? By refusing to allow kids there. Thank you, mainstream media. We see you. We hear you. And we are taking notes.
— Sour Patch Lyds 💐 (@sourpatchlyds) May 28, 2023
Most of the replies to this are NOT people supporting furries or cons. It's QUITE the opposite. Congrats furry fandom, to the general public you look like a bunch of maladjusted perverts targeting kids because y'all won't police yourselves.🤣 https://t.co/wWokmjn4KR
— Zero (@GrandZeroGaming) May 28, 2023
>ban minors based on the governor's ridiculous laws
— .•*¨*•Miss Maggie•*¨*•. (@Miss_Maggie6) May 28, 2023
This headline is all the proof I need to know the author has never been to a furry convention. Google 'RainFurrest'. You'll hate me for it right around the part you learn about the diaper cars. https://t.co/OinDHy8lRr
— W.N.R. (@WeaponNR) May 28, 2023
Uh …no, thanks.
Good. These perverted weirdos ought to be arrested. https://t.co/AWnK72gRdk
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) May 28, 2023
Wait this is supposed to be an attack line on DeSantis? https://t.co/PnBMVtWc8S
— Leighton 明 Woodhouse (@lwoodhouse) May 28, 2023
Of course, the furries had their defenders:
So maby replies and quote say they want a drone strike, the police to arrst and out furries to the death row, calling all furries murderers and more… because "them children" is not what they care.
They want us all dead because we are too queer and gay.
Next, trekkies I guess! https://t.co/JwT7preKQH
— Letrune (@LetruneInedil) May 29, 2023
After seeing the replies:
1. Being a furry does NOT equal having a fetish.
2. Republicans have a history of being more criminally-perverted than furries.
3. Hope the right-wingers in the replies have fun supporting DeSantis while he speedruns failing at running for president! :3 https://t.co/vSecCIRBb8
— SebbySpresso, The Feine Bean, NOT NEWT 🔜Furality (@SebbySpresso) May 29, 2023
the replies… i think conservatives/republicans should be considered a terrorist group https://t.co/EueTeADGvy
— enzo. 🔜 MEGAPLEX!! (@confectionpup) May 28, 2023
Because having an opinion you disagree with is terrorism or something.
The people screaming at this article don’t seem to get that:
a) it’s not a fetish convention, it’s an all ages event that celebrates anthropomorphic animals through art/story/costume
b) there is a ton of family friendly programming
c) minors need a parent/guardian to accompany… https://t.co/pPIhdTEvEe
— 🐾 Spazz 🐾 (@SpazzFox) May 28, 2023
If that is all true, then why the freak out?
Finally, someone noted the ratio:
In all of my years here, I'm not sure I've seen a ratio harder than this one. https://t.co/ndkvrLLF9J
— Rare, Exquisite, Alabaster (@whois_John_Galt) May 28, 2023
Exit question: Has anyone asked Beto O’Rouke how he feels about this?
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