Tennessee Nears Vote On Criminalizing Drag Shows

  • Tennessee is just one procedural vote away from becoming the first state to effectively ban public drag performances in the state, setting the stage for a potentially precedent-setting free speech battle in the courts.
  • On Thursday, Tennessee lawmakers officially passed joint legislation to create a new felony offense for anyone engaging in an “adult cabaret performance” on public property or in any location where the performance “could be viewed by a person who is not an adult.”
  • If signed by Republican Governor Bill Lee, Tennessee will become the first state to criminalize drag shows in public from a list of more than a dozen states to have sought similar bans.
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