An upcoming event in downtown Brenham has triggered conversation about free speech and the rights of private businesses.  

Floyd’s Lounge is hosting a Drag Brunch on Saturday, February 18th.  Drag shows involve singing and dancing with performers impersonating men or women and wearing costumes and makeup.  The drink lounge’s Facebook post announcing the event has hundreds of comments both in support of and against it taking place, and the City of Brenham has received numerous calls on the matter.    

Two local pastors came to the Brenham City Council on Thursday to express their concerns during the public comment portion of the meeting.  Pastor Jon Davies of Brenham Bible Church, and the founder of Texas Church Leaders, a collective of Washington County-area pastors, asked the council to draft rules that would classify these performances as adult-oriented activities, similar to bills filed with Texas legislators that would potentially bar children from attending the shows. 

The Drag Brunch at Floyd’s Lounge is advertised as a private, ticketed event that will only open to adults 18 and older. 

Pastor Tim Webb of Champion Fellowship, and a member of Texas Church Leaders, said he was disappointed in the council’s “apparent moral apathy” in allowing this event to take place, and that doing so goes against faith and family values. 

Floyd’s co-owner Pete Simpson stressed that this performance is not for underage audiences and that no one affiliated with the event is a minor.  He said Floyd’s prides itself on being an inclusive establishment that is respectful of everyone.

Last week, the City of Brenham issued a statement saying it “does not have the general authority to regulate events held by private businesses and/or organizations unless laws or ordinances are violated, citizens are placed in harm’s way, or other public health and safety reasons authorize action by the City.”

Simpson said Floyd’s received a permit from the city to close off Baylor Street in front of the business.  Brenham Police Chief Ron Parker said he and two other police officers will be on hand the day of the event to monitor the public’s activities outside.  He said the department has not received any information indicating the potential for violence, adding that any demonstrations planned are expected to be peaceful.  He said the police department’s role is to “protect the constitutional rights of everyone involved.”

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