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Tennessee bill moves forward to restrict public adult performances

Supporters and opponents of a drag queen story time event face off in Baltimore. Associated Press/Photo by Alejandro Alvarez, File

Tennessee bill moves forward to restrict public adult performances

The Tennessee Senate passed a bill on Thursday that clarifies portions of the state’s obscenity law to classify male and female impersonators as adult cabaret performers. The legislation also bans adult performances, including drag shows, on public property or in a location where minors could view the show. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill’s counterpart on Feb. 14. If passed, the law would go into effect on July 1.

Are other states considering similar legislation? At least nine other state legislatures are working on similar bills. A bill in North Dakota that would criminalize drag performances in front of minors moved forward in January, and lawmakers in Texas, West Virginia, Nebraska, and South Carolina have filed similar proposals.

Dig deeper: Read Bradley G. Green’s opinion piece about how drag shows are becoming more common throughout the country.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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