Featured Case: Challenge to Tennessee's Drag Ban

April 9, 2023

A person in drag looks directly at the camera.  The person is visible from the shoulders up, and is wearing a purple wig, sparkly earrings, and a black ruffled color.

In February 2023, Tennessee enacted House Bill 0009, which made it a criminal offense to perform “adult cabaret entertainment” on public property or in a location that could be viewed by minors. Friends of George’s, a theater company from Memphis, Tennessee, filed two now-consolidated lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to challenge this ban on drag performances. The law, which was set to take effect on April 1, 2023, had caused multiple LGBTQ+ organizations to cancel drag performances because of risks to their performers. Friends of George's argued that the ban violated the First Amendment. On March 31, 2023, the court granted a temporary restraining order enjoining enforcement of the statute.  Litigation in this case in ongoing.  Read more here