A drag queen broke the state’s event rules when he danced on a marble star in the Minnesota Capitol Rotunda last week.
A local KARE 11 reporter tweeted about the event, saying the drag queen was “making State Capitol history” by dancing on the star.
Tomi Saint James makes State Capitol history as the first drag artist to dance on the Rotunda floor star. Transgender Day of Visibility pic.twitter.com/in9PuYIfTC
— John Croman (@JohnCroman) March 31, 2023
The drag performance took place during a “Trans Day of Visibility” event held in the Capitol Rotunda Friday and was attended by several state leaders, including Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.
“The Department of Administration takes seriously its duty to ensure the public’s ability to exercise its First Amendment rights at the Minnesota State Capitol,” Curtis Yoakum with the Minnesota Department of Administration told Alpha News.
Yoakum said event organizers agree to follow the rules when applying for an event permit. “The Department of Administration team members or Capitol Security officers attempt to address any issues as they occur,” he said.
Yoakum said Department of Administration staff were “attending to another matter during the brief performance and were not in the Rotunda at that moment.”
“They arrived shortly after the performance and informed the event organizer that music and entering the cordoned area are not allowed. An inspection of the area did not indicate any damages, otherwise the organizers would have been assessed the cost of any repairs,” he said.
Capitol event rules state that the “Star in the Rotunda is not to be straddled, stood upon, or walked on.”
“A number of people have reached out to my office troubled by both the inappropriate performance during Friday’s Trans Day of Visibility, as well as the disrespect it showed to the Capitol building,” House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, told Alpha News.
“Video circulating on social media showed a performer dancing on the stanchioned-off North Star State symbol area in the Capitol Rotunda. This is a clear violation of rules for public events at our Capitol, which plainly state, ‘The Star in the Rotunda is not to be straddled, stood upon, or walked on,’” Demuth continued.
She said she has asked state officials to explain what actions were taken to stop the dancer from walking on the star and what consequences event organizers will face.
Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, and House Majority Leader Jamie Long, DFL-Minneapolis, did not respond to requests for comment.