NASHVILLE, TN — (12-22-22) — Tennessee Republican State Sen. Jack Johnson introduced this week a proposed bill that would make it illegal for drag queens to perform in front of children statewide.
According to SB 0003, introduced by Republican State Sen. Jack Johnson, drag shows would be redefined as “adult cabaret” and would prohibit Drag shows from being viewed “by a person who is not an adult.”
“I filed this legislation to protect children,” Johnson told CBN News. “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.” said Johnson.
SB 0003 makes first-time offenses Class A misdemeanors, with subsequent violations being Class E felonies if the bill is made law.
Drag Queen star Veronika Electronika told NBC News that the “bill blurs the lines between illegal and legal shows.”
“If that law passes, I would be committing a potential felony,” said Electronika. “I don’t know who will be the drag police to judge whether my performance was adult-oriented.” said Electronika.
Johnson defended his anti-LGBTQ legislation to NBC News by claiming that “We’re protecting kids and families and parents who want to be able to take their kids to public places. We’re not attacking anyone or targeting anyone,” Johnson told NBC.
“I’ve heard references to this bill that it will ban drag shows? Well, no, it won’t. It just says you can’t do something that’s sexually explicit. It won’t prevent someone dressed in drag from being in a parade or being in public.” said Johnson.
Johnson came up with his anti-LGBTQ scheme after hearing about a drag show that took place at the Tennessee Tech University this past September, where children were seen handing cash to Drag Show performers.
Tennessee is one of five states, including Texas, Idaho and Michigan, who are pushing through legislation on limiting drag shows from being performed in front of children.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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