Freedom of Speech Challenge: SCOTUS Denies Racy Drag Shows At Texas A&M: Students Outraged

Clarence Walker

After a prolonged legal dispute between students who wished to organize drag shows on their campus and the President of West Texas A&M University, Walter Wendler, the U.S. Supreme Court put the final nail in the coffin by ruling that the school's President has the authority to cancel the event.

Last month on Friday, March 15, the highest court in the land rejected the student group's emergency petition to intervene in the case so that they could hold the drag show on the university's campus, located in Canyon.

West Texas A&M University is among the most conservative higher education systems in this nation.

"The application for writ of injunction pending appeal presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied," stated the Court.

Spectrum WT Fought to Host Drag Show

Last year, a WTAMU LGBT organization, Spectrum WT, planned to host a drag show called "A Fool's Drag Race," which was advertised as "PG-13" and a fundraiser for The Trevor Project - a controversial nonprofit focused on LGBTQ youth suicide prevention.

Walter Wendler

Walter Wendler. Photo via facebook.

According to Texas Scorecard Reporter Emily Medeiros, Wendler condemned the event, saying that drag shows discriminate against womanhood.

"As a performance exaggerating aspects of womanhood (sexuality, femininity, gender), drag shows stereotype women in cartoon-like extremes for the amusement of others and discriminate against womanhood," said Wendler.

"Drag shows are derisive, divisive, and demoralizing misogyny, no matter the stated intent. Such conduct runs counter to the purpose of WT," he added, comparing drag shows to "blackface."

Spectrum WT and two of the group's student leaders filed a lawsuit against Wendler, WTAMU's Vice President for Student Affairs Christopher Thomas, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, and several members of the university system's Board of Regents.

Spectrum WT claimed Wendler was violating their First Amendment rights, stating in their lawsuit that "as a public official, he cannot bar Spectrum WT and its members from exercising their First Amendment rights merely because he believes his personal opinions override the Constitution."

Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk later ruled that Wendler did not violate the First Amendment and that his decision to cancel the show was not "objectively unreasonable."

Controversial Online Chats

Last year, Texas Scorecard news blog reported that in addition to suicide counseling, The Trevor Project website also features information and advice about sexual orientation and gender identity and hosts online chats between LGBTQ teens and adults ages 13-24.

The progressive organization has also teamed up with "RuPaul's Drag Race" to oppose "anti-LGBTQ" legislation.

Texas Scorecard further reported how a mother seeking help for her child said she discovered a "Pandora's box" of inappropriate content in The Trevor Project's chat room-including adults pushing kids towards gender transitions, giving advice on how to hide transitions from parents, and describing sex acts and fetishes.

Sam Brinton-a self-identified nonbinary drag queen who was recently hired, then fired, as the Biden administration's deputy secretary of nuclear waste - worked at The Trevor Project for four years and bragged about participating in kink relationships with men who pretend to be dogs.

WTAMU students would start competing petitions for and against Wendler's drag show ban.

LGBTQ Attack?

A pro-drag show petition calls Wendler's statement "an indirect attack on the LGBT+, feminist, and activist communities of the WTAMU student body" that presents a "distorted and incorrect definition of drag as a culture and form of performance art."

An anti-drag show petition started by Young Conservatives of Texas counters, "Because of Dr. Wendler's statement, supporters of this degenerate event are outraged and seek to overturn the university's decision to stand for what is right." YCTWT encourages Wendler to "not be swayed by the angry voices of those who are opposed to the truth about drag shows."

Fighting to Host Drag Shows

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression represented a group of students who appealed the decision. Though the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) denied their petition, the case is scheduled to be heard at the New Orleans-based U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in late April. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is defending Wendler's decision to cancel the event, expressed satisfaction with SCOTUS's decision not to intervene.

"President Wendler's efforts to uphold decency and protect women from hostile and degrading caricatures, and to protect children from exposure to obscene conduct, are completely defensible," said Paxton. "I'm pleased that a unanimous SCOTUS rejected the organization's extraordinary attempt to force the University to host this activity."

amt anti drag show protest ai

Texas A&M anti drag show protest. Image by AI.

Reporter CJ Walker can be reached at [email protected]

Texas Scorecard News Website serves as the basis for this important article.

By Clarence Walker
Clarence Walker Jr. is a Houston-based Senior Reporter and Associate Editor for HoustonNewsToday. Houston Watch | Substack Politics, Policy, Political News - POLITICO Houston Public Media – Houston Public Media is a non-profit organization broadcasting through a multi-media platform to deliver content with a focus Community Impact | News Associated Press News: Breaking News, Latest Headlines and Videos | AP News Business News Daily: Small Business Solutions & Inspiration -

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