Federal judge pauses Tennessee city’s ban of drag performances on public property for upcoming BoroPride Festival

A federal judge has apparently barred city officials in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, from implementing a ban on drag performances being performed on public property.

The order was put into effect on Friday by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Waverly Crenshaw Jr. The order will not allow the city to enforce its drag performance policy during the BoroPride Festival that is scheduled to take place next weekend in Murfreesboro, according to OPB.

The order comes after Tennessee Republicans came together to protect children from being exposed to drag shows and genital mutilation, both of which have played a prominent role in the culture wars.

Blaze News previously reported that Senate Bill 3 is a piece of legislation meant to protect those underage from “adult-oriented” performances, including those that feature men pretending to be women, strippers, and exotic dancers. All of these were deemed “harmful to minors.”

The bill was passed in February by a vote of 74-19.

However, the judge’s order came after the ACLU of Tennessee brought a lawsuit earlier this month. The order stated that the city of Murfreesboro and the Tennessee Equality Project had come to an agreement that the city will not get in the way of the festival set to take place on October 28, according to Fox News.

The lawsuit brought by the ACLU claims that the ordinance discriminates against those in the LGBTQ+ community, and that it freezes free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The ACLU went on to say that the order “confirms that the community’s free speech rights will be protected at the BoroPride Festival,” as litigation of the city’s ordinance trudges forward.

“We are relieved that the court has taken action to ensure that Murfreesboro’s discriminatory ordinance will not be enforced during the BoroPride festival,” Chris Sanders, director of the equality project, said. “We look forward to a safe, joyful celebration of Murfreesboro’s LGBTQ+ community.”

Conservatives throughout the country have said drag performances tend to sexualize kids and exposes them to material that should only be available to adults. The debate over drag performances has run parallel to discussion about transgender individuals and whether children should be able to receive hormone treatment if they believe themselves to be of the opposite sex.

The city of Murfreesboro warned the equality project that it would not accept any more event permits, noting that it would be updating its “community decency standards” meant to “assist in the determination of conduct, materials, and events that may be judged as obscene or harmful to minors.”

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