In a recent legal battle, Tennessee Republicans faced another setback in their efforts to vilify drag queens and ban drag shows. Despite their best attempts to interfere with local Pride festivals, judges have consistently ruled these bans unconstitutional.
Federal Judge Blocks Ban in Murfreesboro
The city of Murfreesboro became the latest municipality to feel the weight of a federal judge’s decision when their attempt to interfere with a local Pride festival was blocked. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Tennessee had sued the city over its efforts to silence a local LGBTQ+ organization, including a policy denying permits for events and an ordinance banning drag performances.
The lawsuit accused the city of violating the LGBTQ+ organization’s constitutional rights to free speech, expression, due process, and equal protection under the law. The court recognized that the city had engaged in a targeted campaign to silence LGBTQ+ voices in Murfreesboro and deemed these actions blatantly unconstitutional.
Relief for the LGBTQ+ Community
Tennessee Equality Project Executive Director Chris Sanders expressed relief, stating, “We are relieved that the court has taken action to ensure that Murfreesboro’s discriminatory ordinance will not be enforced during the BoroPride festival. We look forward to a safe, joyful celebration of Murfreesboro’s LGBTQ+ community.”
A Pattern of Failed Discrimination Efforts
While several cities in Tennessee have attempted to discriminate against LGBTQ+ groups and Pride festivals, their efforts have consistently failed in the face of legal challenges. A federal judge, appointed by Donald Trump, previously ruled against Tennessee’s ban on drag performances, citing its unconstitutionality and its potential for discriminatory enforcement.
In the ongoing battle for LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of expression, the courts continue to uphold constitutional protections, ensuring that the vibrant drag culture and Pride celebrations in Tennessee remain intact.