Lawmaker reacts to criticism for support of event 'filled with sultry performers'
Florida State Representative Randy Fine is receiving criticism after some have pointed out that a charity event organized by his wife to benefit children is advertising "sultry performers."
Rep. Fine, R-Palm Bay, has been working to pass a law that would make it a crime to allow kids inside adult performances.
The event at a Melbourne hotel Saturday raises money for children with autism. Nowhere on its website does it say it's for adults only. Because of how it's promoted, and the bill Fine is trying to pass, some call it a double standard.
A website promoting the Sweetest Dream Gala shows women performing provocative dances. There's a range of VIP packages, including one called "Candy Kisses" for $250. The organization also sells racy calendars to raise money.
Randy Fine is listed as a donor, and his wife is one of the organizers.
"The mother of my child and my children and a friend of hers are helping kids with autism," Fine said in an interview with FOX 35. "How dare these deviants try to take them on and criticize them for the work that they’re doing."
Fine is on the defensive after the event was criticized.
"The number one word that comes to mind is hypocrisy," said Michael Orsini, a drag performer who has been outspoken against Fine's legislation. "That is exactly what it is."
Drag performers say they feel targeted by a bill that would make it a crime to expose children to an "adult live performance." According to the bill's text, that would include shows that might depict or simulate nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, lewd conduct or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts.
"I have no idea what they plan to do tomorrow night, and I have no idea if it would qualify under that definition," Fine said.
While the event doesn't specify if kids are allowed, Fine says he wouldn't bring his.
"There might have been a child there, I don’t know," Fine said. "I don’t remember seeing any, but it’s not one of these things that’s billed for families and then turns out not to be."
Last year, Fine took aim at a drag queen story time event in Melbourne.
Melbourne's mayor, Paul Alfrey, sent a statement to FOX 35 saying, "Representative Fine caught openly supporting the very same activities he wishes to outlaw for others shows his discriminatory behavior."