Bill To Ban Drag Shows For Children Passes Senate

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

SB0003, a bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin-District 27) passed the Senate yesterday as amended. Twenty-six voted in favor of the bill, and six were opposed.


If the proposed legislation becomes law, a person who engages in “an adult cabaret performance” on public property or in a location where the performance could be viewed by a minor could be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor as a first violation and subsequent violations of the offense would be a Class E felony.

An amendment to the bill clarifies that adult cabaret performances must only be held in age-restricted venues and never on publicly owned property. In addition, if an adult-orientated show is performed in a business where entertainment “that appeals to a prurient interest” is not the predominant focus, thereby not necessitating a license for such entertainment, then the venue must be age-restricted so that children cannot be present.

During his presentation of the amendment, Johnson explained that the entertainer who violates the proposed law by engaging in entertainment of an “overtly sexual nature” and “harmful to minors” would be subject to the penalty, and not the venue.  

Johnson pointed his fellow senators to Tennessee Code 39-17-901 where the description “harmful to minors” is defined in the state’s current obscenity laws. For an entertainer to be in violation of the law, the entertainment would have to pass a three-part test.

The entertainment would first have to be found by the average person “applying contemporary community standards to appeal predominantly to the prurient, shameful or morbid interests of minors,” secondly, be offensive to “prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable for minors,” and third, “lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific values for minors.”

It is important to note that the proposed legislation does not outlaw Drag performers outright. Johnson insisted that as long as the performers are not engaging in entertainment that includes “nudity, sexual excitement, sexual conduct, excess violence or sadomasochistic abuse” that they can still participate in Pride parades or Drag Brunches, two examples that were brought up during discussion.

The house version, HB0009 will be heard in the full House Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, February 14th.

If you would like to contact the members of that committee, please see that information below, and give them a call, send them an email, if you want to see an end to these types of performances being offered in public places being exposed to underage children. 

Bud Hulsey (R) – Chair– – (615) 741-2886

John Gillespie (R) Vice-Chair– – (615) 741-8201

Scotty Campbell (R) – – (615) 741-2050

Michele Carringer (R) – – (615) 741-1721

Elaine Davis (R) – – (615) 741-2287

Clay Doggett (R) – – (615) 741-7476

Andrew Farmer (R) – – (615) 741-4419

Monty Fritts (R) – – (615) 741-7658

Ronnie Glynn (D) – – (615) 741-2043

G.A. Hardaway (D) – – (615) 741-5625

Dan Howell (R) – – (615) 741-7799

Gloria Johnson (D) – – (615) 741-2031

William Lamberth (R) – – (615) 741-1980

Debra Moody (R) – – (615) 741-3774

Lowell Russell (R) – – (615) 741-3736

Paul Sherrell (R) – – (615) 741-1963

Joe Towns, Jr. (D) – – (615) 741-2189

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

6 thoughts on “Bill To Ban Drag Shows For Children Passes Senate

  • February 10, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    Arkban, Campbell, Kyle, Lamar, Oliver & Yarbro…these six should be ashamed of their self. I suggest they all be “Mandated” to attend with their spouse and children a Drag Queen Show and Drag Queen Story Hour AND be required to sit through the entire thing. Then when they get home can explain to their children about the perversion they just witnessed.

    • March 16, 2023 at 4:19 pm

      What a load hose s**t! Drag shows are NOT sexualized! Further, this law is a violation of the 1st Ammendment and therefore unconstitutional. And if you want to see Sharia law in practice, look at this law! ANY LAW THAT IS BASED ON SOMEONE’S RELIGIOUS IDEOLOGY IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

  • February 13, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    So when Tennessee Tech hosts the annual Upper Cumberland Pride drag queen events on campus and uses the publicly-funded University web site to advertise the drag queen contest (year after year)….they aren’t responsible.

    When Eastman sponsors the Tri-Pride purients parade (again) and encourages the groomer-friendly event on public streets, they aren’t responsible for whatever happens.

    Brave Sir Robin leads the republican senate again. Republicans KNOW the existing law was broken, but refuse to hold their own state-funded facilities accountable. But when they let UT’s sex week slide, and the ridiculous diversity program slide… I mean what would TTU have to fear in running a drag queen show for kids on campus?

    • February 16, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      You are absolutely correct. They pass all this legislation for show. To say, see this is what we did to protect the children. Then don’t enforce it. All bark and no bite. No one is ever held accountable. But one day every person will be held accountable.
      In God we trust not government or man.
      Have a blessed day.

    • March 16, 2023 at 4:28 pm

      First of all, college students are not kids, they are adults by law. Second, who should be held responsible when this law is challenged in court and stricken down? Should all the legislators who passed this hateful and unconstitutinal legislation be removed from office. Third, I think you will find that this sentiment is in the minority and the last time I checked this nation worked by the will of the majority. And finally, considering this website has an advertisment with Rush Limbaugh, well, you want to talk about imoral, unethical behavior, geez! I mean, you slam a guy just trying to make a living by dressing up and singin, NOT STRIPPING, yet you uphold a drug addict and adulterer ike a hero? WOW, what a a bunch of hypocrite! JUDGE NOT LEAST YE BE JUDGED!

      • March 18, 2023 at 11:57 am

        And you call yourself an American patriot. This pertains to children. It’s about immoral behavior. America was founded on the Bible and the ten commandments. God will not be mocked. You talk about judgement maybe you should look in the mirror.
        Deuteronomy 22:5 NIV
        A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
        These are God’s words and it doesn’t get more to the point than this. It’s an abomination PERIOD.
        If you haven’t ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. You should.
        In God we trust not government or man.
        Have a blessed day.


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