SB 841/HB 30 would require drag performers to obtain a permit from the adult-oriented establishment board prior to performing for compensation and prohibit people under the age of 18 from attending performances that include male or female impersonators.
Dance, fashion, and music — essential components of a drag performance — are all protected by the First Amendment. Yet, these laws are written so broadly and vaguely that they would allow government officials to censor performers based on their own subjective viewpoints of what they deem appropriate on any given day.
Discriminating against drag performances based on the content of their expression is a direct contradiction of a fundamental principle of our democracy: our First Amendment right to express ourselves on and off the stage.
So, let’s call this what it is — a malicious attempt to remove LGBTQ people from public life. These bans are being fueled by the same paranoia banning books and censoring teachers.
We must allow guardians and parents – not politicians – to use their fundamental right to decide what is best for their families.
We must take action and put a stop to these bills. We have seen time and time again that when laws like this are put into effect, they lead to the hurtful and pointless arrest and criminalization of LGBTQ people – from giving police permission to raid bars to the arrest of trans women for simply existing in public.
Tennessee state senators
Tennessee state representatives