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Rolling Stone has a sad that DeSantis’ laws are keeping children out of a furry convention

Really, the headline says it all:


And much of the reaction can be summed up by this Tweeter linking to a CBR article on the subject:

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:


If you want to expose children to obscenity, we are perfectly fine with people noticing the government.

Please note, Hollaria is best described as a joke account.


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.

Actually, we read the code of conduct as forbidding this.

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


Uh …no, thanks.

Of course, the furries had their defenders:


Because having an opinion you disagree with is terrorism or something.

If that is all true, then why the freak out?

Finally, someone noted the ratio:

Exit question: Has anyone asked Beto O’Rouke how he feels about this?


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