Lawsuit Filed Against Law Enforcement, AG Skrmetti For Informing Blount Pride That Law Will Be Enforced If Drag Performances Are Carried Out Where Minors Could Be Exposed

Image Credit: ACLU-TN & Blount Pride / Facebook

The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –

The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit against the District Attorney General for the Fifth Judicial District, Ryan K Desmond, for sending out a letter informing Blount County law enforcement agencies and city officials, as well as the organizer of Blount Pride, that a law passed this past session in the Tennessee General Assembly  will be enforced should there be evidence of a violation. 

As The Tennessee Conservative recently reported, the lawsuit that was filed in the district court in Shelby County that enjoined the law permanently only applies to the area where the court has jurisdiction. Which means, the law would still be enforceable in 94 of Tennessee’s 95 counties.  

Tennessee AG Jonathan Skrmetti advised district attorneys across the state that the federal court ruling only applied in the Memphis area.

“My legal analysis leads to me to concur with the state attorney general, both as to the constitutionality of (Adult Entertainment Act) as well as the applicability,” said Ryan Desmond, the Blount County District Attorney, in his letter to pride organizers. “Violations of the (Adult Entertainment Act) can and will be prosecuted by my office.”


The lawsuit filed by the ACLU on Thursday contends that like the lawsuit in Shelby County, the law should be found to be unconstitutional for the same reasons – that it violates drag performers 1st Amendment Free speech rights, and consistently refers to the newly implemented law as “anti-drag”.

Critics of the lawsuit feel there is an important nuance that needs to be articulated when media outlets and LGBTQ+ organizations who are often the founders of the litigation, accuse laws like the law in Tennessee of being “anti-drag”.  

There is nothing in the law that strictly prohibits drag performances from taking place.

 In fact, the proposed law that would have prohibited drag performances, without first obtaining proper permitting for the potential venue, was killed in a senate subcommittee this year with no chance at being passed.  As a reminder, Republicans control the Tennessee State General Assembly, in a supermajority. 

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The changes to the current code that regulates what state law calls “prurient” or “cabaret” performances and performers, included to its ranks male and female impersonators as the type of performers and performances that cannot be carried out in the presence of minors. The rationale here is because those types of performances usually include content the law has determined is harmful to underage children. 

In essence, the primary purpose is to impose an 18+ age restriction and to consider where the venue is located that will feature the performance. There is nothing in Tennessee code that would allow for the complete removal of drag performances in all of Tennessee. 

The Tennessee Conservative has reported on the nature of the performances that have been featured in the past in Tennessee that were advertised as “all ages” or “family friendly” and then have been discovered through media reports that they included overtly sexual content.

Authorities were recently made aware of upcoming performances that are scheduled to take place in Blount and Sevier Counties by local grassroots organizations and challenged  those persons to enforce the law, since there is nothing stopping them from doing so in either county.

Blount County then issued the letter, that then led to another lawsuit being filed. 

In addition to the primary assertions made in the lawsuit that drag performers 1st amendment rights were being violated, there were additional charges levied that the Chief of Police of Maryville, Tony Crisp, was using his official capacity to “threaten” the president of Maryville College, by simply informing them that to host such an event on their campus, could result in a criminal charge. 

The case has been placed on the docket of Federal Judge Ronnie Greer, whose past rulings include determining Governor Lee’s Executive Order 84 restoring parents’ rights not to force their children to wear masks to school was as a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. His ruling, for all intents and purposes, forced an entire school district who had already voted down the policy, to adopt it against its will. You can read that story here.

We will continue to follow this story and report on any new developments as they materialize.

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

5 thoughts on “Lawsuit Filed Against Law Enforcement, AG Skrmetti For Informing Blount Pride That Law Will Be Enforced If Drag Performances Are Carried Out Where Minors Could Be Exposed

  • September 1, 2023 at 5:02 pm

    We should be banning drag shows period.

  • September 1, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    So What? A specious lawsuit has been filed by agitators trying to attract attention. What has been, or will be, the disposition in court?

    When will we hold ACLU and similar misbehavers liable for cluttering up our court system?

    • September 2, 2023 at 7:49 pm

      Well, Judge Greer dealt us a setback. We shall persevere. In the words of George Washington:

      Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!
      George Washington

  • September 2, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    The ACLU is the creation of Roger Baldwin and the CPUSA.
    The ACLU, SPLC and ADL should all be banned.
    Along with ANTIFA and BLM.

  • September 3, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Please forward information about any and all protest against this stupid Blount Pride thing.
    I don’t want this trash in my neighborhood!
    Would greatly appreciate any info.


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