Judge Blocks TN Law Aimed at Protecting Children from Seeing Drag Shows

drag queen story
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A Tennessee law restricting drag shows was temporarily blocked on Friday, preventing officials from enforcing the law over the next two weeks.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker granted a temporary restraining order as he deemed the law “likely both vague and overly-broad,” the Hill reported Saturday.

Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed the bill in March and the law criminalizes drag shows that occur in public or in the view of children.

According to Breitbart News, the bill classifies “male and female impersonators” as adult cabaret performers, the outlet continued:

State Rep. Chris Todd, R-Madison County, filed the bill, saying “this is a common sense child-safety bill.” The bill, which passed by a vote of 79 to 19, makes it illegal to host an “adult cabaret performance” in a location where children are present. The legislation, which was proposed by Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson also bans adult cabaret performances on public property.

Cabaret performers are defined as “topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, [and] male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest.”

Those who host or perform a drag show in front of children would face misdemeanor charges, be subject to an over $2,000 fine, and also be subject to a year behind bars.

However, Johnson explained, “We’re protecting kids and families and parents who want to be able to take their kids to public places.”

Meanwhile, Parker sided with the Friends of George’s LGBTQ theater group in Memphis that is contesting the law, saying the language could mean any location, such as a private residence or camping ground.

“Ultimately, the Statute’s broad language clashes with the First Amendment’s tight constraints,” he commented.

Last month, Lee also signed bills that ban sex change operations, cross-sex hormone therapy, and puberty blockers on children trying to transition, Breitbart News reported:

Tennessee lawmakers promised to take action after an investigation from Daily Wire host Matt Walsh found that Vanderbilt officials had referred to transitions, particularly sex change operations, as “big money makers.”

In addition, Breitbart News revealed last year that Vanderbilt Health was the sole sponsor of the “kids and family” portion of the Nashville Pride Parade, which included both drag Bingo and drag queen story hour.

In November, Johnson told WKRN “I don’t want to ban a theater company from doing a production of Mrs. Doubtfire in a public park. I think most people have seen that movie, knowing Robin Williams was dressing up as a woman. We don’t have an issue with that.”

“It’s like they say about pornography, you know it when you see it,” he clarified.


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