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A group of nine plaintiffs including a brewery, a theater, and a public school teacher has filed a federal lawsuit to challenge Montana’s far-reaching drag ban. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on July 6, alleges that House Bill 359 unconstitutionally restricts the First Amendment right to free expression by attempting to ban drag performances. The bill, passed by the state’s Republican lawmakers in May of this year, bans both sexually oriented performances and drag shows that are not sexual from schools, libraries, and other public venues, with fines up to $10,000 for repeat offenses. Calling HB 359 “a breathtakingly ambiguous and overbroad bill, motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ animus,” the lawsuit alleges that HB 359 poses a content- and viewpoint-based restriction on free speech. The plaintiffs argue that the law threatens teachers, artists, small businesses, and cultural and scientific institutions, many of whom aren’t connected to drag in any traditional sense. The lawsuit asks the court for an injunction against enforcing the law, a ruling declaring HB 359 unconstitutional, and damages for the plaintiffs who have already been affected. The lawsuit names various Montana officials, including Attorney General Austin Knudsen, as defendants.