Lawmaker proposes drag show bill for next session

He doesn't mention specific examples, but the viral video in Chattanooga last month seems to be the target

NASHVILLE (WDEF) – The controversy over a drag show at a local business where kids were present has inspired a new bill in the legislature.

Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson has filed new legislation for next year aimed at protecting children from being exposed to “sexually explicit drag shows.”

Sen. Johnson says the bill would ban adult cabaret performances, including drag shows of a sexual nature, from being performed on public or private property if kids can see it.

“I filed this legislation to protect children. There are certain performances, movies, and places that are inappropriate for children. Just as current law prohibits strip clubs from admitting children, this legislation would also prohibit sexually suggestive drag shows from being performed on public property, or on any non-age-restricted private property where a minor could be present.”

He says the bill is in response to several incidents across the state where children attended drag shows.

“There have been several reports of controversial drag shows in Tennessee where children were present. Many Tennesseans were concerned and had questions about the legality of certain sexually explicit performances. This bill clarifies the law so that it spells out what performances are not appropriate for children to be present at.”

Last month, many community members were upset over a video showing a performance at Wanderlinger Brewing Company which was billed as a family friendly drag show.

Members of the LGBTQI community are concerned about how the legislation could impact Pride parades and events.

And Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project says that dressing up in the clothing of a different gender isn’t something that should ever be regulated by government.

But Senator Johnson responded to NewsChannel 5, “It is illegal to take your child to a strip club, and yet we’re going to allow a drag show that has blatantly explicit sexual activity taking place in a public park where kids are present — no; we’re going to stop that.”


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