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Tennessee fascism

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Hateful authoritarian crank Sohrab Ahmari has gotten the coercive force of the state behind his sicko wet dreams:

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed a bill banning drag shows in public spaces, a measure that will likely force drag shows underground in Tennessee.

Lee gave his signature just hours after the measure passed in the Senate Thursday afternoon. In the same sitting, he signed a ban on gender-affirming health care for youth in the state.

The announcement comes as a yearbook photo of the Republican governor in drag recently surfaced on Reddit.

Lee says there’s a big difference between wearing a dress at a high school football game and drag queens wearing a dress on stage.

Hella Skeleton, a drag performer in rural Middle Tennessee, says the line is not clear.

“For Bill Lee to say, ‘You know, that was lighthearted when I did it,’ that is absolutely absurd when a lot of drag is extremely lighthearted,” Skeleton says. “Apparently when straight men dress up badly in drag, that’s OK. But when gay and queer and trans people do it, that’s not OK.”

Republican State Rep. Jack Johnson co-sponsored the bill. He says, “We’re protecting kids and families and parents who want to be able to take their kids to public places. We’re not attacking anyone or targeting anyone.”

That level of dishonesty is remarkable even for an MAGA politician — these statutes protect nobody (from what?) and have literally no purpose but targeting a marginalized minority to foment hate. And note that this ban applies to consenting adults because THE CHILDREN have never been the issue — Republicans just really hate trans people and anything they associate with being trans.

The First Amendment issues here are obvious, but the Supreme Court has found ways to uphold flagrant violations of free expression that they personally find immoral before (most notably during David Souter’s unfortunate 18-month reactionary swing vote phase) and given the current personnel I wouldn’t bet against them giving the thumbs-up to this one either.

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