The US state of Tennessee has banned transgender treatment for children and banned drag shows.
Republican Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday signed off on a blanket ban on gender-affirming health care for transgender minors, reports Metro.
Lee also signed into law a new law banning “adult-oriented” entertainment, including “male and female impersonators” from public property and restricting them to age-restricted venues. This makes Tennessee the first state to ban drag shows, reports Metro.
Republicans, who have an absolute majority in the state legislature, have fast-tracked legislation. It will go into effect this summer.
The American Civil Liberties Union plans to sue the state over the bill.
Meanwhile, a bill banning drag performances goes into effect on July 1. It doesn’t explicitly state “drag shows,” but does target “adult cabaret performances” defined as both male and female impersonators and “topless dancers, go-go-dancers, exotic dancers (and) strippers”, reports Metro.
A first violation carries a maximum penalty of 11 months in prison and a possible fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent violations can result in one to six years behind bars and a fine of up to $3,000.
The bill was signed after conservative commentators said drag-related shows sexually exploit children. Opponents of the push say it is part of a larger attack on the LGBTQ+ community.
The governor was ripped after a photo of him dressed in women’s clothing from a 1977 high school yearbook surfaced on social media. When asked if he missed “dressing up in drag” Lee said it was “ridiculous” to do “something like that to sexualized entertainment in front of children, which is a very serious question”, reports Metro.
Similar bills aimed at banning drag shows have been introduced in Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Texas.
Tell us your thoughts in the Facebook post and share this with your friends.