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Tags: tennessee | bill lee | gop | drag shows | transgender | minors | gender-affirming

Tenn. Gov. Lee May Ban Drag Shows, Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

Bill Lee speaks into a microphone
Tennessee GOP Gov. Bill Lee (Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 23 February 2023 04:50 PM EST

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, could ban drag performances and gender-affirming health care for transgender minors this week, in the wake of state lawmakers passing legislation covering both controversial issues.

For state Senate Bill 3, which was introduced by state Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, R-Tenn., it would amend an existing Tennessee law prohibiting "adult-oriented businesses" from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, or places of worship.

By proxy, "adult cabaret performances" — as in, "male of female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest," or acts featuring topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, or strippers — would be barred from occurring at the above venue types.

This measure would deliver "confidence to parents that they can take their kids to a public or private show and will not be blindsided by a sexualized performance," state Senator Johnson recently told Reuters.

The Tennessee House subsequently passed a companion bill to Johnson's legislation, after state Rep. Chris Todd, R-Tenn., filed a court order last year to halt what had been billed as a "family-friendly" drag show at a public park in Jackson, Tennessee.

According to The Hill, the Tennessee drag ban could become the first of its kind in America, if Governor Lee signs the completed measure.

The Senate bill addressing drag shows passed by a 26-6 vote; and the disparity voting for the House bill was even greater, at 74-19.

First-time violators could reportedly be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by jail time and cumulative fines up to $2,500.

Under state law, any subsequent offenses might be classified as a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of one to six years in prison.

On Thursday, state House legislators banned transgender youth from seeking and garnering access to gender-affirming health care in Tennessee, a bill that passed by an overwhelming 77-16 vote.

Johnson also introduced the above bill, which would largely prohibit health care professionals and workers from providing gender-affirming care to minors, "for the purpose of enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor's sex," according to The Hill.

The exceptions to the proposal include: Youths who require treatments, such as puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and surgeries for reasons other than the "treatment of gender dysphoria or mental condition, disorder, disability, or abnormality."

"Cultural forces from the left would like us to accept an alarming new myth; that gender is not a biological reality," House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Tenn., wrote about the bill.

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, could ban drag performances and gender-affirming health care for transgender minors this week, in the wake of state lawmakers passing legislation covering both controversial issues.
tennessee, bill lee, gop, drag shows, transgender, minors, gender-affirming
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2023-50-23
Thursday, 23 February 2023 04:50 PM
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