Bill To Restrict Drag Shows To Adult Only Businesses Moves One Step Closer To Law In Tennessee

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –

In a hearing before the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee, HB0030 was advanced to its next step in the legislative process, and one step closer to becoming law in the state of Tennessee. 

HB0030 as introduced, requires a person to obtain a valid entertainer permit from the adult-oriented establishment board, in those jurisdictions with a board, prior to performing adult cabaret entertainment for compensation; prohibits public, private, and commercial establishments from allowing persons under the age of 18 to attend a performance featuring adult cabaret entertainment. – Amends TCA Title 7, Chapter 51. 

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The need for this addition to state law is due to the pervasive occurrence of what the law considers “cabaret style adult” entertainment in businesses that are not the type to typically host such entertainment. 

According to the current law, “An adult-oriented establishment or adult cabaret shall not locate within one thousand feet (1,000′) of a childcare facility, a private, public, or charter school, a public park, family recreation center, a residence, or a place of worship.” 

In recent years, across the country we have seen what are commonly referred to as “drag shows” being offered in public venues such as bars, restaurants, libraries, book stores, and even in some cases in other states, churches. 

With the addition of HB0030, any business that isn’t already categorized and licensed as “adult cabaret” style entertainment, would need to apply and be approved for a permit to host the event. 

Bars and other over 21 venues aren’t subject to the same legal standard with regard to location. They are legally able to locate anywhere that is zoned for a commercial space, since the entertainment they feature is not characterized as “adult”.

The bill passed the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee with only the Democrats voting No and then was referred to the Calendar and Rules Committee to be scheduled for debate and a vote on the floor of the House.

Then there are the public festivals held in parks, such as the Franklin PRIDE festival hosted in Harlinsdale Park in Franklin in June. There are plans to host the festival again this year, in the same location. 

If HB0030 becomes law, the performances that took place there last year, here, documented on social media, would not be permitted.  

This week at the BOMA work session in  Franklin, only 2 of the 8 Alderman, Alderman Beverly Berger (R-Ward1) and Alderman at Large Gabrielle Hanson, expressed their lack of support for the current application for the use of Harlinsdale Park for the event this year, in light of what occurred last year, the fact that there is still legislation pending that would determine the level of availability for said group, depending on the activities that are planned, or even activities that, like last year, occur despite careful planning. 

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If you feel compelled to express your opinion about the PRIDE Festival being held in Harlinsdale Park again this year, please reach out to the following: 

Beverly Burger 1st Ward:

Matt Brown Ward 2:

Jason Potts Ward 3:

Patrick Baggett Ward 4:

Clyde Barnhill Alderman At Large:

Gabrielle Hanson Alderman At Large:

Ann Petersen Alderman At Large:

Brandy Blanton Alderman At Large:

About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member.  Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty. Kelly can be reached at

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