Tennessee Legislature Passes Bill to Ban Drag Shows in Front of Kids

Anderson Distillery "Kid-Friendly" drag show in Roanoke, Texas. (Video Screenshot/Tayler H
Video Screenshot/Tayler Hansen

Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill that would prevent drag shows from taking place on public property or in front of children. 

The bill classifies “male and female impersonators” as adult cabaret performers, while also banning “adult-oriented performances that are harmful to minors.” The legislation, SB3, now makes its way to Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s office. 

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee delivers his State of the State address in the House Chamber of the Capitol building, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. Lee has no plans to participate in a debate against Democratic opponent Dr. Jason Martin. The Republican told reporters earlier this week that he's focused on being governor.(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

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.”

Should the bill be signed into law by Gov. Lee, anyone who either hosts or performs a drag show in the presence of children would be charged with a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of $2,500. They will also be subject to up to one year in prison. Meanwhile, repeat offenses would be considered a felony, with defendants subject to a $3,000 fine and anywhere between one to six years in prison. 

“The intent of the legislation is just to simply say that you cannot have sexually explicit entertainment … in a public venue where kids might be present,” Johnson notedHe also went on to say, “We’re protecting kids and families and parents who want to be able to take their kids to public places.”

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at slindquist@breitbart.com.


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