On Thursday, the state of Tennessee passed a bill that would restrict drag performances to only private venues and in front of adults only.
The legislation, SB3, would forbid any such performances from taking place on public property and would make it illegal for them to take place with children in the audience.
“Once again, Tennessee leads the nation,” wrote Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R). “We’re committed to ensuring Tennessee is the safest place to raise your family. This is a huge win for our state, and we’ll continue working to protect our kids.”
“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 explained per NBC News. “We’re protecting kids and families and parents who want to be able to take their kids to public places.”
The bill, passed with a vote of 79 in favor and 19 against, would make “adult cabaret performance” illegal in a location with children, as reported by Breitbart. The “adult cabaret performance” is defined as “topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, [and] male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest.”
Once again, Tennessee leads the nation. We’re committed to ensuring Tennessee is the safest place to raise your family. This is a huge win for our state, and we’ll continue working to protect our kids. https://t.co/ptKj1Ax0LU
— Jack Johnson (@SenJohnson) February 24, 2023
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Once the bill goes into law with a signature from Gov. Bill Lee (R-TN), drag performers who violate the legislation will be charged with a misdemeanor, a $2,500 fine, and potentially up to a year in prison.
As previously reported by the DC Enquirer, Tennessee is at the forefront of this issue. On Thursday, the state House advanced HR 001, a bill to ban sex-change procedures on minors, to the governor's desk.
The bill was cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, and House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R). “These treatments and procedures have a lifetime of negative consequences that are irreversible,” Lamberth stated during a discussion on the bill Thursday. “And let’s be clear: these treatments and surgeries are cosmetic. No procedure or drug can change a human being’s sex, the structure of their chromosomes, or their DNA. It is surgical mutilation for the purpose of altering the appearance of a child and it qualifies as nothing less than abuse.”
Tennessee's groundbreaking leadership on these issues is thanks to the advocacy of the Daily Wire's Matt Walsh who has gained national attention due to his documentary “What is a Woman?”
With bills like these being passed in Republican-led Tennessee, other states should take up similar legislation to protect children. Conservatives are finally waking up to this issue and the legislative action in Tennessee is hopefully just the first step.
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