The Tennessee legislature has passed a bill banning drag shows from taking place on public property or being showcased in front of children. According to Breitbart, the legislation SB3, makes it illegal to host an “adult cabaret performance” in the presence of children, classifying performers as “male and female impersonators.” The bill, which is making its way to Republican Governor Bill Lee’s office, will strengthen measures taken to protect children from seeing things many agree are inappropriate if he signs the bill into law.
Drag shows have been making headlines recently for being hosted at public venues around the country to entertain children. Such entertainment has disturbed many as it often includes obscene imagery promoting interest in sexuality. State Rep. Chris Todd (R-Madison County), who filed the bill, called it “a common sense child-safety bill,” and it passed in the legislature by a vote of 79 to 19.
Breitbart reports that, “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.”
Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson tweeted on February 23, “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.” Johnson explained that the legislation is simple, noting that “sexually explicit entertainment” will not be shown to children. “We’re protecting kids and families and parents who want to be able to take their kids to public places,” he added.