Tennessee on Thursday was the official start of state to sharply restrict drag performances as the state’s governor, Bill Lee, signed a bill banning the shows on Public property or in areas that are accessible to minors.
Limitations are made by law “adult cabaret” Features of performances “topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators,” The new law is expected to take effect in the second half of 2012. Anyone who breaks the law will face a misdemeanor or a felony for any subsequent offenses.
The Republicans attacked the new law. on Transgender rights and L.G.B.T.Q. Americans all across the nation. Republican Mr. Lee signed another bill on Thursday banning gender-affirming care For transgender youth
Last month, reporters asked Mr. Lee about the drag bill. to The shows are “sexualized entertainment in front of children,” according to The Associated Press. The governor was photographed in a formal dress at the same moment, and this photo was published in 1977’s school yearbook. surfaced on Reddit. It was, he told reporters. “ridiculous” to Compare the two.
Although the drag law was part of a larger Republican push, to restrict such shows across the countryThe American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee It stated that the law did not make it illegal to Perform in drag within the state.
According to The A.C.L.U. is the language of law that will limit performances. “harmful to minors,” This is a narrow definition that only covers extreme sexual and violent content, which has no artistic value. According to Drag performances are not included in this group and they are covered by the First Amendment.
“The law bans obscene performances, and drag performances are not inherently obscene,” Stella Yarbrough (legal director at the A.C.L.U. Of Tennessee, said in a statement.
The organization is concerned, however, about the possibility that elected officials might abuse the new laws. to People should be censored “chilling protected free speech and sending a message to L.G.B.T.Q. Tennesseans that they are not welcome in our state.” Ms. Yarbrough stated that the A.C.L.U. Any enforcement of law would be challenged by Ms. Yarbrough to Drag performers are to be punished to Shut down events that are family friendly
The governor’s spokeswoman could not be reached immediately for comment on Thursday night