'Missed the mark': Judge shoots down Tennessee GOP anti-drag show law

'Missed the mark': Judge shoots down Tennessee GOP anti-drag show law

A judge blocked Tennessee GOP-backed legislation restricting drag shows, just moments before it was set to officially become law, Rolling Stone reports.

Per CBS News, Judge Thomas L. Parker made his decision after Friends of George's, a Memphis LGBTQ+ theater company, "filed a federal lawsuit earlier this week against Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy and the state."

Mark Campbell, who is President of the Board of Directors for Friend's of George's, said in a press release, "We won because this is a bad law. We look forward to our day in court where the rights for all Tennesseans will be affirmed."

READ MORE: 'The worst anti-trans bill I have ever seen': GOP-led state houses are ramping up efforts to gut LGBTQ+ rights

According to Rolling Stone, Parker wrote, "If Tennessee wishes to exercise its police power in restricting speech it considers obscene, it must do so within the constraints and framework of the United States Constitution. The Court finds that, as it stands, the record here suggests that when the legislature passed this Statute, it missed the mark."

The judge, CBS reports, was referring to the GOP lawmakers' failure to offer "a compelling argument as to why Tennessee needed the new law, adding that the court also agrees the statute is likely vague and overly broad."

Friends of George's complaint argued, "The law prohibits a drag performer wearing a crop top and mini skirt from dancing where minors might see it, but does not prohibit a Tennessee Titans cheerleader wearing an identical outfit from performing the exact same dance in front of children."

Shelby County district attorney, Steven Mulroy, told The Associated Press, "There has been much concern and confusion about the law from the community. This will allow the court to clarify the scope, application, and constitutionality of the statute. It's important to understand the scope of this law so that it doesn't have a harmful effect on constitutionally protected expression."

READ MORE: House Republican claims 'friends of mine that are homosexual' support drag bans

Rolling Stone reports:

There are currently multiple bills [in Tennessee] targeting trans healthcare, including one that is attempting to make it illegal to change one's sex on official documents like birth certificates and driver's licenses.

READ MORE: GOP Gov. Bill Lee’s hypocrisy called out in full-page newspaper ad of him dressed in drag

Rolling Stone's full report is available at this link (subscription required). CBS News' report is here.

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