Tennessee’s Drag Ban Overturned, Deemed Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

Good news at last..

Billboard reports

A federal judge on Friday (June 2) ruled that Tennessee’s first-in-the-nation law restricting drag shows violates the First Amendment, sending the closely-watched legal battle to a federal appeals court.

Two months after U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker issued a temporary restraining order against the new law — titled the Adult Entertainment Act (AEA) — because it was likely unconstitutional, the same judge issued a permanent injunction on the same grounds.

The judge wrote that freedom of speech as designed in the First Amendment is “not just about speech,” but also about the right “to express one’s identity, and to realize self-fulfillment in a free society.” Tennessee’s law, he said, infringed upon those rights.

“The Court finds that — despite Tennessee’s compelling interest in protecting the psychological and physical wellbeing of children — the Adult Entertainment Act (“AEA”) is an unconstitutional restriction on the freedom of speech,” Judge Parker wrote.

In a statement released following the news, Friends of George’s — the Memphis-based LGBTQ+ theater company that sued the state of Tennessee — celebrated their victory, while also looking ahead at future battles to come.

Read more at  https://www.billboard.com/pro/tennessee-drag-ban-overturned-unconstitutional/