Federal judge rejects Tennessee drag show ban as unconstitutional


WASHINGTON – A federal judge has ruled that Tennessee’s law restricting drag. Performances in public or where children are present was unconstitutional. Hitting efforts in US states to regulate LGBTQ behavior.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill passed by the state Assembly in February.

Aimed at limiting drag performances, putting the state at the forefront of Republican-led. Efforts to limit drag in at least 15 states in recent months.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker, an appointee of former Republican. President Donald Trump, ruled late Friday that the law was “vague and overbroad.” The Constitution’s First Amendment mandates that laws that infringe on free speech. Must be narrow and well-defined, Parker said in the 70-page ruling.

“put, the Supreme Court majority held that sexual — but not obscene. — Speech receives less protection than political. Artistic or scientific speech,” Parker said in the ruling. Under the law, offenders can face fines and more One year in jail and repeat offenders face up to six years in prison.

Ahead of the 2024 election, Republican lawmakers across the country.

Have introduced more than 500 bills. This year to regulate gay and transgender behavior. From what can be taught in schools to bathroom use and medical care. At least 48 of them passed, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group. Parker blocked the law on March 31, before it took effect. Along with Memphis-based Friends of the LGBTQ. That theater group sued the state.

GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy group, applauded Parker’s decision. “This ruling is a turning point and we will not go back,” GLAAD said in a statement

“Every anti-LGBTQ elected official is on notice. That these baseless laws will not stand. And that our constitutional freedoms of speech and expression protect everyone. And advance our culture,” the group said.

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