Tennessee law bans obscene performances for kids, but Alaska Sen. Scott Kawasaki has this to say about it

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Tennessee’s legislature passed a law making it illegal to host “an adult cabaret performance” where children are present. By a vote of 74-19, the lawmakers said that performances, such as those featuring “topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, [and] male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest” are illegal.

The bill is under the category of obscenity and pornography, describing activities as “an offense for a person who engages in an adult cabaret performance on public property or in a location where the adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a person who is not an adult.”

In addition to banning drag queen performances for children, the law bans gender conversion chemicals and procedures for minors.

Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed the bill into law Thursday. The history of the bill and full description, including votes, can be found at this link.

First-time violators of the obscenity ban may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to a year in prison. Repeat offenses will be considered Class E felonies in Tennessee. Most likely, the law will be violated by someone who intends to take it to court.

In some jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, it’s common for the community to hold highly sexualized parades and performances with naked men, and people dressed in sadomasochist attire, and some of these events are intended for children. But no more in Tennessee, where they want kids to have their innocence of childhood free from attack.

Alaska has no such law against sexualized performances for children. Drag queens now are commonly employed to entertain and groom children in Anchorage and Juneau, or in Soldotna, as shown in the photo at the top of the page, where drag queens from Anchorage performed for children in the park.

Sen. Scott Kawasaki, a Fairbanks Democrat, hopes no law will pass in Alaska like the the one just signed into law in the Volunteer State.

“Not in Alaska,” he said on Twitter in response to an AP news report.

The Biden White House has also weighed in to criticize Tennessee lawmakers.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Americans have more important things to worry about than drag queens performing in front of children.

“The American people are focused on so many issues. We just talked about economy, we just talked about inflation, we’re talking about safer communities and schools, and good healthcare — all of the things that you all ask me every day. And you all know that’s what the American people care about,” she said.

“That’s what – even when they went to vote in November, those were the issues that mattered the most to them. But instead of doing anything to address those real issues that are impacting American people, right now you have a governor from Tennessee that has decided to go after drag shows. What sense does that make to go after drag shows? How is that going to help people’s lives?” Jean-Pierre said during the daily White House press briefing.

74 COMMENTS

  1. I wanted to share this on Facebook, but I can’t with the photo! I learned so much that I didn’t know in this short article. The. White House response was actually more disheartening than anything.

    • We changed the photo because Facebook has, indeed, found that other photo to be obscene, even though the City of Soldotna approved the performance for children. – sd

  2. So is Mr Kawasaki ok with sexualized performances in front of children? Is he trying to protect the growing drag show industry?

    Or is the the token Democrat sent up to defend the indefensible?

    Irony is never lost on me. The party that used to say “what about the children” has morphed into the party that seems to say “ we wanna do it with children”.

  3. The question is not whether it should be OK for drag queens to perform in front of children.
    .
    The real question is “Why do drag queens want to perform in front of children?”

    • You ask, “Why do drag queens want to perform in front of children?” Why do drug dealers target teens? Why do military recruiters target teens? Why do tobacco companies target teens? Why are candies displayed at supermarket checkouts? Why do sugar-laden, low grade, cereals have cartoon characters shown on the packaging? Why do Hollywood hypocrites promote gun violence in 90% of their movies?
      .
      The answers are so patently obvious the questions need not be asked. The real question is why do we tolerate such nonsense?

  4. Drag queens have a mental health issue to begin with. Wanting to share their personal sexual perversion with children is a clear symptom. Anybody who supports this behavior is an enemy of our Republic and wants to destroy our upcoming generations of children. It’s hard to understand how people can have such hate for our children that they want to doom them to a life chasing sexual fantasies rather than a life of fulfillment engaging in the real issues of life.

    • You are right. They have mental health issues. There was a time when we locked up the insane for the safety of society. That’s what should happen to anyone who cross dresses. It is a mental illness and they should not be allowed to walk freely about. No different than the criminally insane.

        • No, I was born at the right time because under DJT we were finally moving back in the right direction. Moving away from the orthodoxy that we had to accept these freaks, moving towards a strong nation where decency and respect for marriage, respect for the unborn, proper gender roles and prosperity were going to be re-realized. Then that progress was stalled by the stealing of the election from DJT.

          Vote Trump in 24 to get back on the RIGHT path.

          • Of course you have some proof of that election stealing Hill. Hasn’t Rudy given you his take on this yet? That should fit right in with your wanting to lock up the insane again. Heheh!

    • Not only that, AKMark, but the entire drag queen scene is inherently bigoted, because the drag queens are parading as (exaggerated and obscene) stereotypes of women, not as normal women at all. And isn’t promoting stereotypes supposed to be RACIST, according to the radical left?

      • I did not see a way to reply to your further post regarding the military. But I look forward to your comments because they are so dead on. You definitely have your head on in the right direction. My husband so appreciated your comments re virtue signaling about military service. It has been one of his pet peeves for years. Thank you for such good reasoning.

        • Thank you, Gretchen! I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my comment in this otherwise gone-stale thread.
          And interestingly, I think that was my first comment in this forum in which I have ever touched on that particular topic. But like your husband, the automatic and undeserved deference to the military on the part of many conservatives has rankled me for literally decades. It’s nice to know that SOMEBODY out there shares my feelings on the matter!

  5. “But instead of doing anything to address those real issues that are impacting American people” Is what Biden does. How many people were helped by a EO allowing trans on girls teams? In a pandemic? No one even knew it was a real issue.

  6. The vote was 74 to 19? Who the hell are those 19 people that would think it’s a good idea for children to watch obscene material??? IT IS SICKENING!!!!!

  7. Scott Kawasaki you are a sick individual if you think providing this garbage is ok. It’s child endangerment period.
    Sick bunch of people in positions of power need to be removed for not protecting our kids. Pornograhy. That is what these freaks cater to.
    Alaska needs to stand up with Tennessee and get this crap stopped. It’s enough!

  8. The City and Borough of Juneau, our Alaska capital, gave a grant of federal money, money derived from every federal taxpayer, to “teach drag queen lessons.” I am not a defender of Putin, and I hope to live to see him hanged, but he is a critic of the seedier aspects of American society, and I think these drag queen exhibitions and the defense of them by elected officials like Kawasaki set America up to be a target from every corner of the world. Is it any wonder that a disorganized bunch of turbaned warlords in Toyota pickups sent us with our tails between our legs from Afghanistan? Why indeed do these people want to do this in front of children?

    • It was our lowest point during Covid and the Arts Community couldn’t have been prouder.

      I understand how grants work. You win money to be spent on certain things. It’s not fungible.

      But the fact that CBJ worked so hard to get money for online drag lessons and drag shows remains appalling.

      If money had to be spent on “art” at the time, it would have been much better used on, frankly, damn near anything.

    • I’d caution you not to state your Afghanistan premise to someone who served there.

      Your best response will be a very clear disdain for your existence.

  9. Why isn’t the Governor and the legislature sponsoring the same wording used in TN bill to protect AK children? Why hasn’t the legislature moved to censure Kawasaki as they did Eastman. Eastman was inept in speaking, and another member of the legislature admitting advising a young man to lie on a military enlistment document and Kawasaki is supporting live pornography shows in government facilities, schools, and public parks — they do nothing. The legacy of this legislature will be written as supporting lying, encouraging criminal behavior, harming children by Legislators. Is this what Alaska stands for!

    • Because our weak governor is in the closet afraid to come out and stand for something. He caved when we had the budget snafu, and has never recovered. He is worthless.

  10. ‘Is it any wonder that a disorganized bunch of turbaned warlords in Toyota pickups sent us with our tails between our legs from Afghanistan?’
    There was no ‘us’ or ‘we’ leaving Afghanistan. It was military personnel ordered to withdraw by the biden whitehouse. Your statement, here, makes it sound like I had any say in the matter just because I spent time there.

    • Simple fact. You were there, and served your nation. The vast majority never will or would be willing to do so.

      Thank you for both the service and the sacrifice it requires

      • Anyone stationed in Afghanistan was not “serving our nation”, they were simply serving the military-industrial-death complex. I do not thank anyone for being willing cannon fodder and/or mercenaries for a corrupt imperial agenda.
        .
        Virtually everything militarilly done by the US since World War II has been OFFENSIVE in nature, not defensive. It is pure Orwellian propaganda to refer to anything and everything military-related in the USA in the past 75+ years as “Defense”. “The Department of Defense” was honestly and accurately called “The Department of War” until just after WWII.

        • Please seek help. You need it. In bulk. Your paranoia has done a jihad on your brain.

          Members of the armed forces rarely get to chose where they are served. They are told where to go. If lucky, they get a couple options.

          Based on your comments, I doubt you’ve served or spent time actually listening to people who have.

          • No, I did not “serve” in the military, because, as stated already, I refused to be a willing mercenary and/or cannon fodder for an aggressive, imperialist power.
            .
            And whether you realize it or not, TMA, your kneejerk pandering to those in uniform, and to an imperial and offensive military, is EXACTLY the mirror image of all the so-called ‘social justice’ virtue signaling of the radical left. Kneejerk worship of the military is just the right-wing version of virtue signaling, and I’ve recognized that fact long before the useful phrase “virtue signaling” was even invented.
            .
            So the next time you behold the virtue-signaling in the eye of the radical left, try beholding the beam of right-wing virtue-signaling in your own .

  11. Yes, it would be a great bill for Alaska. But the woke legislate would never allow it. More important bills, like creating woke holidays, padding government employees benefits and creating woke sexual indoctrination in our schools. They have a full menu.

  12. Tennessee men might be a bit mischievous but they are still macho enough to protect their kids. I like that.

      • That’s just it, there isn’t a need for this law. The people passing this ridiculous legislation are the same ones that claim to be foes of “big government.” If that’s the case, how about they just let parents decide what their kids do and don’t see? I saw some pastor on TV claim that these shows are part of a larger attempt to rid the country of “their culture.” A laughable claim since the vast majority of those in Congress and at most levels of government are not only professing religious people, but professing Christians! They are the majority so who is in danger of going away?

        • You do not think there is a need to limit drag performances in front of children?
          Perhaps you know of a drag performance that is not, at a minimum, PG-13? Most are R or NC-17 rated at best. Should we start allowing children to attend strip clubs? Burlesque shows? Maybe you think 50 Shades of Grey is appropriate for pre-teens?
          .
          Why, exactly do you think drag queens want to perform for children anyway?
          If a grown man, dressed up in woman’s lingerie and makeup wants to shake their backside in front of children, that should result in arrest of the performer.

  13. Readers, let me ask about a logical extension. Would we find it acceptable for women to dress in sexually provocative clothing and engage in parties with children? If not, why would we find it acceptable for men to do so?

    • This law does not stop a private performance, just public ones.
      So, let’s rephrase the question:
      “Would we find it acceptable for women to dress in sexually provocative clothing and engage in public performance in front of children?”

  14. Maybe there needs to be a search of legislators computer hard drives to see who opposes this issue. I’m sure something would be found that would be interesting. Juneau has many secrets.

  15. It looks like Kawasaki gets the target today. Who’s the target going to be tomorrow, Sue ?

  16. We need to have a law in Alaska that makes it so this 55-year-old person does not have to see this stuff in public. Some things just cannot be unseen, and I do not wish to see them.

  17. What did the Catholic Priest say to the alter boy ? Let us prey.

    I’d trust a drag queen with my kiddo before I’d trust a priest with them.

    • I’m not sure I’d want any member of any clergy near you.

      Is this ignorance or is this a sad attempt to be funny?

      • Perhaps an attempt to teach you a history lesson. Without googling her name, do you even know who Mary Dyer was ?

        • Actually, yes. And I have a great sense of who you are, too.

          A very sad, bitter person with zero sense of perspective and a heart eaten by the sort of spiritual blackness only a angry leftist can have.

          • The real irony here is Mary Dyer’s situation has zero to do with drag queens, the Catholic Church, or lewd performances in front of children.

            Not sure what you hoped to accomplish, but unless it was making a fool out of yourself it failed spectacularly.

            A consolidation prize as you leave. Many of us here are old enough to have gone through school when American history was actually taught in school. Next time, dig deeper and more thoroughly before pulling a pseudo rabbit out of a hat.

    • The issue isn’t Catholic priests, that we’re discussing here, at least. The issue at hand is about drag queens targeting children. I do not think they should be able to perform in front of children, but that’s just me. I also don’t think we need government telling us what’s okay or not. If a parent wants to let their children watch a drag show, that’s up to them. They’re not my children.

      Oh, and no, I’m not Catholic. I’m not even Christian. I just can’t stand people that prey on children. Now, if they were to write an article about Catholic priests, I’d be all in favor of not letting my children be alone with most of them; however, once again, if a parent wants their children around a priest, then that is their business.

    • These type of strong opinions attracts predators into a family cause the parent can never be wrong, right? All their friends are trustworthy.

  18. How much does Kawasaki make on drag shows, or does he enjoy performing for the kiddos for some reason??

  19. I have said this before, and I will repeat it.
    Drag can be a legitimate performance art form. It has been used in theater for decades, even centuries. Milton Bearle and the Monty Python group had plenty of funny drag skits.
    .
    However, at no point, no matter how ridiculous it was, at no point was drag ever anything less than PG-13. There has never been, nor is there likely ever to be, a drag performance that is appropriate for children.
    .
    And, Sen Kawasaki, along with every other idiot that supports drag shows for children should be run out of town.

  20. It makes one wonder which is sicker, the promoters, performers, presenters, or the parents who subject their children to such an exhibit. Notice how the news never identifies the individuals who signed off on authorizing public funds for such an event? I don’t remember it being on the CBJ Assembly agenda for public discussion?

  21. “How is that going to help people’s lives?” If you have to ask the question, you will never understand the answer.

  22. Children are like an empty container. Be careful what you fill it with. Fill the container with dirt and it will be soiled. Drag Queen shows should not be there for children. But already Europe is following suit. The West is merely duplicating every civilization’s decline. This is the way that Greece and Rome fell. This now the way we are following in their path. Democracy and free speech are not just a right, but a responsibility to guard the good and remind what is not good.

  23. The State of Alaska already has indecent exposure laws, we don’t need to add laws, just enforce the ones we have.

  24. Maybe Kawasaki meant to say a law like that does not exist in Alaska. He’s right. It doesn’t. But maybe he’s saying it SHOULD.

  25. We have laws that prohibit children from going to bars and strip clubs. Maybe Kawasaki thinks we should repeal those laws.

  26. State Senator Scott Kawasaki sponsored Senate Bill No. 82 on March 8, 2019, which would have prohibited private companies from discriminating in the area of LGBT. Fortunately, it did not pass.
    I think all anti-discrimination laws directed at the private sector are wrong, because they take away basic human freedoms (the freedom to choose what we want). The Fairbanks City Council tried to pass such an LGBT ordinance in 2019. Fortunately, the City Mayor vetoed it.
    My website is at KeepFairbanksFree dot com
    Unfortunately, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski supports such a law on a national level.

  27. Can Kawasaki’s constituents now expect transgendered birthday cards with invitations to nearby public drag shows?

  28. Doesn’t this law violate the First Amendment allowing Free Speech and Freedom to Assemble?

    Because the First Amendments states exactly as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    There is an important line there “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech”

    So tell me how this TN law is considered legal in a constitutional sense while any law that sets restrictions on guns is not? As evidenced by recent rulings by SCOTUS on state gun restrictions

    • Freedom of speech is not unlimited, neither is ownership of arms. The issue is not a restriction, but whether that restriction is warranted. Does the harm created by strictly following the First Amendment outweigh reasonable and well justified restrictions? While I can certainly yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater, I cannot use the 1st as a defense against prosecution. By any test of reasonableness, I know that doing so would result in harm to others.
      .
      Do you think a sexually charged performance of men dressed up as women is OK in front of children? What about letting pre-teen boys into a strip club? Sharing child porn is just another form of free speech, is it not?
      .
      There is a matter of child welfare that must be weighed when considering the exercise of free speech. Additionally, one must question why a drag queen even wants to perform in front of a child? What, exactly is a grown adult male, dressing in woman’s lingerie, dresses, and makeup getting from a performance in front of a child?
      Are there any rational adults out there that think a child should be exposed to sexualized performances such as drag queen shows?

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