Commonwealth Policy Center

A federal district judge struck down Tennessee’s law that banned drag performances in the presence of minors. Judge Thomas Parker ruled that these performances are protected speech. He said, “Whether some of us may like it or not, the Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment as protecting speech that is indecent but not obscene.” That may be true, but we do have laws that protect minors and what they’re exposed to. The law is clear that kids cannot get into strip clubs or porn shops. So why should sexually explicit performances featuring drag queens—regardless of where they’re held—allow minors to be present? This is a question parents and those concerned about protecting community standards are asking.