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The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roe

An introduction to the 88th Texas Legislature
Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roe

It’s springtime in Texas and that means two things: tornados and the Texas legislature. The legislature meets every two years to create, amend, and strike down laws. Lawmakers stream in from all corners of the state, bringing their ideas with them. Whether you agree or disagree with the proposed laws one thing is for sure, they are darn entertaining.



State Representative Jared Patterson of Frisco, Texas has a plan to deal with something he considers an imminent threat — drag shows? These events, where drag artists impersonate men or women and perform songs, lip-synch or comedy acts, have been increasingly controversial in the state with businesses using the  entertainment to attract customers.

However, Rep. Patterson has been

outspoken against these events, asserting that businesses who host “a performance in which a performer exhibits a gender identity that is different than the performer’s gender assigned at birth” should be classified as a sexually oriented business. This classification would then apply the same rules that govern strip clubs and adult theaters to all businesses who use drag performance as entertainment.

However, opponents to the law are saying that it is so vaguely worded that even if a business hosted a male artist with hair long enough to be mistaken for a woman, they would have to register as a sexually oriented business.

Legislation Identifier: House Bill(HB) 643



From reducing criminal penalties for possession of products containing it to amending the state constitution, marijuana is going to be a hot topic this session with over 20 bills filed about it.

State Senator Sarah Eckhardt of Austin is focusing on the topic with three bills. One specifically has a chance at passing. Senate Joint Resolution(SJR) 22 is not trying to turn Texas red or blue, but green. This bill would legalize possession, cultivation, and sale of cannabis and already has two other identical pieces of legislation filed in support from State Representatives Mihaela Plesa and Terry Canales.

Legislation Identifier: Senate Bill(SB) 208, SB 209, SJR 22, House Joint Resolution(HJR) 89, HJR 91


Graphic by Sarina Mahmud



State Representative Stan Lambert of Abilene is concerned with the state of Texas music. Every year the State Poet Laureate, a notable Texas poet selected by the senate, chooses one musical artist to be our state musician. Rep. Lambert wants to see two selected musicians — one classical and the other non-classical. Time will only tell if we will see world famous pianist Van Cliburn’s name next to ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.

Legislation Identifier: HB 1693


Roe v. Wade

After the trigger ban on abortion went into effect in June 2022 legislators have been telling their constituents non-stop about what they plan to do about it. 

Graphic by Sarina Mahmud

State Senator Bob Hall of Rockwall is on the job. Noted for calling his primary opponent a “pawn of Satan,” he is ready to fight off criticism on his bills, which have stirred up controversy. One is to protect pharmacists  from legal challenges if they do not want to dispense prescribed medication, which could be used to prevent or terminate a pregnancy. However this one is so openly worded it is expected to make picking up the common prescription of birth control more difficult.

The far more jarring bill is about labeling products that contain human fetal remains. The only issue is there are no known products on the market today in the United States that contain even a cell of fetal parts. 

Legislation Identifier: HB 300, HB 314

One of the few non-controversial bills on this topic is from State Representative Donna Howard of Austin. Her legislation seeks to remedy the problem with the  state’s “Alternative to Abortion” program, which was providing medically inaccurate and misleading information to expecting mothers. This bill would require one simple change that women in the program are given informational materials that must be medically accurate and scientifically supported.

Legislation Identifier: HB 988


Bonus Round

Rep. Patterson of Frisco makes this page for a second time with his proposal to separate the city of Austin from Texas. 

Rep. Metcalf of Conroe wants to end Daylight Savings Time permanently. 

Rep. Cain of Baytown wants to create a state holiday on the date of the Dobbs decisions.

Rep. Jarvis of Houston wants to Abolish Confederate Heroes Day. 

Rep. Thomson, also from Houston, wants to legalize charitable bingo.

Legislation Identifier: HB 714, HB 1422, HB 552, HB 51, HB 431


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About the Contributors
Owen Oppenheimer, Reporter
Owen Oppenheimer is a senior and this is his first year on staff. He’s ready to write and dive deep into the biggest issues in the community. He has driven all the way down to Austin in one day just to get a story. Outside of school, he works for the Town of Flower Mound, reads and is involved with local politics.
Sarina Mahmud, Designer
Sarina Mahmud (she/her) is a senior and first year staffer. She spends way too much time rotting away in her room, but in her free time she loves listening to music, being annoying about movies, and drawing. When she’s not being lazy and avoiding her responsibilities, she is excited to work as a first-time designer for the Marquee! ?

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