Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Banning Drag in Public
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a law effectively banning drag performances in public.
The Details: The bill, Senate Bill 3, bans “adult cabaret performances” anywhere they “could be viewed by a person who is not an adult.” The bill’s definition of “adult cabaret performance” includes both sexual performers and “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, or similar entertainers, regardless of whether or not performed for consideration.” Lee also signed a bill banning gender transition care for trans minors.
For Context: The political right focused more on drag queens as a “culture war” issue in 2022, with right-wing media personalities and lawmakers asserting they were sexual in nature, and therefore inappropriate for children. Some of this attention focused on drag queen story hours, in which drag queens read books to children at libraries. Members of the Proud Boys have protested outside drag events on multiple occasions, including as recently as last month.
The Twist: Lee himself reportedly dressed in women’s clothing in a high school yearbook photo. When asked about it, Lee said it was “ridiculous” to conflate “something like that to sexualized entertainment in front of children.”
How the Media Covered It: Coverage was far more common on the left than on the right. While some left-rated sources called the bill “anti-drag,” a Daily Wire (Right bias) news update referred to it as “pro-child.” LGBTQ outlets were particularly opposed to the bill, with one headline accusing Lee of a “cruel attack” on LGBTQ people and drag queens.
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From the CenterTennessee enacts nation’s first law restricting drag shows, bans gender-affirming care for youth
Tennessee on Thursday became the first state to enact a law explicitly targeting drag shows, while also joining a growing list of GOP-led states to ban gender-affirming health care for transgender youth.
The drag show provision criminalizes performances that take place in public or where they could be seen by children.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed both measures into law on Thursday without comment. His office did not respond to The Hill’s request for comment.
Senate Bill 3, the drag ban, prohibits “adult cabaret performances” from taking place within 1,000 feet...
From the LeftTennessee Has Banned Drag Performances In Public, And Other States Are Considering Similar Bans
Tennessee became the first state on Thursday to enact a drag ban, barring performances from the public eye or where there are minors present.
Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed HB 9 into law just days after a high school yearbook photo surfaced of him appearing in drag — in a wig and cheerleader skirt — as part of a powderpuff football game. He has not confirmed or denied his appearance in the photo.
Tennessee law now bans “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest” from performing in...
From the RightMedia outlets use photo from 1977 yearbook to suggest GOP governor is 'hypocritical' on drag
Multiple media outlets are attempting to suggest Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is guilty of hypocrisy over a photo from his 1977 high school yearbook.
Lee is set to sign a bill that would outlaw drag shows from certain public areas that can be exposed to children, making a first offense a misdemeanor and the second offense a felony.
But a photo from the 1977 Franklin High yearbook surfaced on social media showing Lee wearing a wig, cheerleader uniform and a pearl necklace alongside girls wearing men’s suits.