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Tennessee House Passes Anti-Drag Bill

By Charlotte Robinson, February 27, 2023

UPDATE: Both anti-LGBTQ bills have been signed into law by Governor Lee after passing the Tennessee House. First House Bill 9 that bans many drag performances from taking place on any public property in the state as well as in any location where people under 18 could be present. The second is House Bill 1 that bans age appropriate, medically necessary care to transgender youth under the age of 18.  Sarah Warbelow HRC Legal Director stated, “By passing House Bill 9, the Tennessee legislature has done nothing but spread hate, misinformation & extremism. Drag is a longstanding, celebratory form of entertainment & a meaningful source of employment for many across the state. Yet, rather than focus on actual policy issues facing Tennesseans, politicians would rather spend their time & effort misconstruing age-appropriate performances at a library to pass as many anti-LGBTQ+ bills as they can. Dangerous rhetoric like this has real consequences – prejudiced inspired bills only rile up an extremist base & normalize violence against the LGBTQ+ community, especially transgender & nonbinary people. We urge Governor Lee to veto this discriminatory bill.” Cathryn Oakley HRC State Legislative Director & Senior Counsel concluded, “This attempt by radical politicians in Tennessee to ban gender-affirming care is only the latest effort in their war against the LGBTQ+ community, especially against transgender kids…These extremist lawmakers have intentionally made life harder & more dangerous for trans kids. Gender affirming care is age-appropriate, life-saving, medically necessary care that is only provided after the consent of parents & doctors." I talked to Emma Chinn Special Projects Coordinator at Campaign for Southern Equality & a proud LGBTQ Tennessean about her state's aggressive attack on our transgender community & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

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