The Megaplex 2023 furry convention in Orlando, Florida is being forced to ban attendees under the age of 18 due to a new law that Governor Ron DeSantis signed prohibiting children from attending “adult live entertainment” events and the left is wailing and tearing its hair out over it.
“Many have raised concerns about recent changes in Florida legislation,” the Orlando-based convention Megaplex announced in a statement that was released last week.
“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,” the statement advised.
DeSantis signed SB 1438, the “Protection of Children Act” into law in May attempting to reign in perversion when it comes to children. The screeching from leftists over the protection of minors when it comes to drag shows and fetishist conventions has been apoplectic, to say the least.
This actually speaks more to the nature of the fandom and conventions than anything else…
— Lysander The Unlearned (@LysanderTheLion) May 26, 2023
The legislation criminalizes “knowingly admitting a child to an adult live performance.” Violators can get up to a year in prison. An adult live performance is defined as “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.”
The furry convention is set to take place Sept. 15-17. The subculture is reportedly comprised of people who like to dress up as animals and sexualization is a factor at gatherings making them inappropriate for minors. Events catering to those who are attracted to other furries are usually held later at night, separate from family-friendly offerings but that doesn’t mean incidents can’t happen at all times during a convention. Costumes provide anonymity for those attending and, to an extent, their actions.
According to the 2022 Megaplex schedule online, many events marked for those 18 and older took place at night. Others marked for adults or a general audience were held during the afternoon and included, “How to Be Queer,” “Babyfur/Kidfur Meet Up,” and “Transgender Furs Meet & Greet.”
Megaplex decided to restrict the ages of attendees and evidently, it was not an easy one for them.
“Megaplex has welcomed younger fandom members and their families since its inception and making this change was very difficult,” the organizers stated.
Unsurprisingly, a writer with Rolling Stone came unglued over the announcement and lashed out at DeSantis’ law as an attack on the LGBTQ community.
“Florida Gov. and GOP presidential nominee Ron DeSantis has successfully sucked the pleasure out of many of life’s little joys, from drag brunches to Disney adult TikTok. And thanks to the passage of SB 1438, or the Protection of Children Act, DeSantis may now be bringing the ax down on furries,” senior writer E.J. Dickson wrote.
“The fact that the furry organizers felt pressured to bar children from the convention is yet another example of how it’s been seen as an attack on LGBTQ rights,” the writer declared.
He also said that furry supporters wouldn’t feel safe in the state of Florida anymore.
The Florida law simply prohibits adult sexual content or performances in front of minors.
— Aldous Huxley’s Ghost™ (@AF632) May 29, 2023
If you have to ban children for your event, then it wasn’t child friendly. I’m sure DeSantis will still get a good night’s sleep despite the devasting loss of the “furry vote”. https://t.co/HraS0lgxpC
— Florida Julie (@byzosgal) May 28, 2023
Absolutely horrific. Due to a bill DeSantis signed into law, children will no longer be able to attend gatherings of people indulging their sexual fetishes of dressing up as animals and having sex with others doing the same. How will civilization survive? https://t.co/PfIMOCk4fb
— Jenin Younes (former handle @leftylockdowns1) (@JeninYounesEsq) May 28, 2023
“Right now anything that isn’t very straight-laced, in Florida, is starting to be called out as deviant,” co-founder of Moms of Furries Carrie told Rolling Stone. “Obviously furries are an easy mark for that.”
A transgender furry named SemJay said he supported the decision because it will protect attendees from potential harassment. He also owns the furry adult toy company Lycantasy and says he will not be attending the convention for his safety.
“I don’t want to end up in a confrontation, or worse, jail or dead, for just going to the bathroom in Florida,” he dramatically told Rolling Stone.
Many, many parents view the convention as yet one more way to groom children.
To all the alphabet people crying because children aren’t allowed in adult fetishist conventions in Florida: no, children can’t go to your furry convention to be groomed. pic.twitter.com/kb3exOnilo
— Gene Hunt (@LawTiger) May 28, 2023
Megaplex hopes the age restriction is temporary and that it can welcome back younger furries next year. That wish is unlikely to come true in the state of Florida.
“This decision has been a difficult one, but Megaplex has not forgotten about or abandoned our younger fandom members and is looking into options for events and activities to include all age ranges and their family members,” the convention organizers contended.
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