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Tennessee legislators have introduced a bill that would criminalize the practice of drag queens hosting shows that are child-accessible or aimed directly at kids.
Tennessee Senate Majority leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) filed legislation last week, SB 0003, that would protect children from being exposed to sexually explicit shows, including drag queen performances on public and private property.
If passed, anyone who “engages in an adult cabaret performance on public property or in a location where the adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a person who is not an adult” could be charged with a felony, which can carry a one to six-year prison sentence.
Johnson said, “I filed this legislation to protect children. There are certain performances, movies and places that are inappropriate for children. Just as current law prohibits strip clubs from admitting children, this legislation would also prohibit sexually suggestive drag shows from being performed on public property, or on any non-age-restricted private property where a minor could be present.”
He adds the legislation is in response to controversial incidents across Tennessee where children have been attendees at drag shows with sexually explicit performances.
As CBN News reported, a Tennessee university president canceled drag shows that were previously held on campus, citing “disturbing” content that targeted minors and mocked Christians.
Tennessee Tech University (TTU) frequently hosted drag shows at Backdoor Playhouse theater and advertised them to all ages.
President Phil Oldham issued a statement canceling the shows after a video of a drag performance at the school went viral.
“I am disturbed and dismayed about the activities in a video circulating on social media from a recent event on Tennessee Tech’s campus,” he wrote.
“I do not feel the activities in the video represent Tech’s values, and I do not condone explicit activity where minors are present,” he added. “I also am offended by disparaging mockery toward any religious group.”
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