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Gov. Bill Lee of TennesseeWBIR Channel 10/YouTube screenshot

NASHVILLE (LifeSiteNews)Republican Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee signed into law last week a ban on sexually explicit drag shows for minors and a ban on transgender surgeries and drugs for minors. 

The two bills, SB 1 and SB 3, were signed Thursday, March 2, amid growing concerns of parents in the Volunteer State over the sexualizing of children through the obscenities of drag queen events and performances targeting innocent minors in schools and public libraries, as well as the irreversible mutilation of body parts and the chemical castration involved in “trans” surgeries and puberty blockers. The laws go into effect July 1 

The law against drag shows for minors, SB 3, prohibits the exposure of minors to all “adult cabaret entertainment,” such as “topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest. The law adds additional language to an existing law creating a 1,000-foot buffer zone between all such performances and public property, schools, public parks, and places of worship where minors could potentially watch them. A first offense will constitute a misdemeanor, while subsequent violations will carry felony charges. 

The measure banning drag shows for minors had passed the Tennessee House with overwhelming support in a 74-19 vote in late February. On signing the bill into law, the conservative governor said it was intended to keep children from being “potentially exposed to sexualized entertainment, to obscenity.”  

Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, who introduced the bill together with Rep. Chris Todd, said last week, “This bill gives confidence to parents that they can take their kids to a public or private show and will not be blindsided by a sexualized performance.”  

Johnson added, I believe we have a duty to protect our kids. I’m proud to be a proven and committed defender of all children across Tennessee. 

READ: Tennessee lawmakers pass bills to ban ‘gender transitions,’ drag shows for minors 

The bill to ban transgender surgeries for minors also cleared the House in a sweeping 77-16 vote. It was introduced by Republican House Majority Leader William Lamberth and Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson. The law prohibits the performance of so-called “gender-transitioning” surgeries as well as the prescription of puberty blocking or cross-sex hormone drugs for children under the age of 18.  

“Children do not need these medical procedures to be able to flourish as adults,” Lamberth declared when he introduced the bill. “They need mental health treatment. They need love and support, and many of them need to be able to grow up to become the individuals that they were intended to be.” 

Impetus for Tennessee’s SB 1 goes back to the dogged activism of Catholic Daily Wire podcaster and Tennessee resident Matt Walsh, whose September exposé of Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center revealed that the institution was mutilating minors with “gender transitions,” something its leaders reportedly viewed as a “huge money maker.” 

Republicans lawmakers demanded answers from Vanderbilt following Walsh’s bombshell report, leading to the institution’s October 2022 decision to “pause” its so-called “gender affirming” procedures for minors.  

READ: Vanderbilt Medical Center to pause mutilating gender surgeries for minors following scandal 

After Walsh’s investigation, Lee also spoke out against the transgender mutilation of children, declaring, “We should not allow permanent, life-altering decisions that hurt children. With the partnership of the General Assembly, this practice should end in Tennessee.” 

Tennessee is now the ninth state to implement protections for children from the transgender abuse that takes the form of cutting off healthy body parts or preventing the natural development of the body through hormone drugs. The Volunteer State now also follows Arkansas in prohibiting the sexualization of minors through drag shows. 


Sarah Huckabee Sanders signs bill banning Arkansas minors from attending drag shows 

Mississippi governor signs law banning ‘dangerous’ transgender drugs, surgeries for minors