The Tennessee state legislature has passed a bill prohibiting drag shows in the presence of minors.

The bill (SB3) passed the Tennessee House of Representatives 74-to-19 and the Tennessee Senate 7-1. It makes it illegal to host “an adult cabaret performance” in the presence of children.

According to the bill, first time offenses against the law are Class A misdemeanors. In Tennessee, Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

The law takes effect on July 1, 2023, if Gov. Bill Lee signs the legislation. He is expected to do so.

According to National Review, cabaret performances are defined as those featuring “topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, [and] male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest.”

Unsurprisingly, transgender activists and leftist organizations have blasted the bill – though not honestly.

“Tennessee could jail trans people for just singing a song while in public,” tweeted trans activists Allison Chapman.

Of course, SB3 does nothing of the sort. The legislation specifically prohibits drag performers from providing entertainment to children “that appeals to the prurient interest.” Merriam-Webster defines prurient as “marked by, arousing, or appealing to sexual desire.”

“No matter what radicals say, I am proud to be a relentless defender of Tennessee kids,” said Tennessee Republican state Sen. Jack Johnson, who introduced SB1 earlier this week. “The passing of my bill in the Tennessee Senate is a huge accomplishment in the fight to keep our kids safe. As a dad, you can be certain I’ll continue my fight to safeguard our Tennessee kids.”

Should Gov. Bill Lee sign SB3 into law, Tennessee will become the very first state to ban sexualized drag performances in the presence of children.

In addition to passing SB3, the Tennessee legislature also passed a bill (SB1) prohibiting healthcare providers from prescribing “hormone treatment” for minors struggling with gender dysphoria.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee and Lambda Legal, have threatened to sue Tennessee over the new law, should Tennessee Governor Bill Lee sign the legislation.

“We urge Governor Lee to veto this overreaching, discriminatory bill, or we will see him in court,” the ACLU of Tennessee said.

Now, it’s important to point out that SB3 and SB1 are not “anti-trans,” nor are they “discriminatory,” as so many activists assert.

The object of both pieces of legislation is to protect children. Period. Full stop.

And if you think legislation like SB3 is not needed, sadly, you would be wrong.

Let’s pray that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee soon signs SB3 and SB1 into law, and that other states continue to enact legislation protecting children.

If you or someone you know need help dealing with the transgender issue, check out Focus on the Family’s Transgender Resources page here.

Additionally, Focus on the Family’s Counseling Department offers help from licensed or pastoral counselors. To request a conversation with Focus on the Family’s Counseling Department, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time), or complete our Counseling Consultation Request Form. Please be prepared to leave your contact information for a counselor to return a call to you as soon as possible. The consultation is available at no cost to you due to generous donor support and will be with one of our licensed or pastoral counseling specialists.

Related articles and resources:

Back to School for Parents

Transgender Resources

Counseling Consultation & Referrals

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