Portland City Council defers vote to ban drag shows

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The Portland, Tennessee City Council was met on Monday with a rally organized by those opposed to the proposed plan to ban drag performances in that community. In the end, the council decided to defer its second vote on the subject in order to gain an opinion from the state attorney general as to it Constitutionality.

According to Kevin Teets, an attorney representing the Tennessee Equality Project, the proposed change in the definition of adult-oriented businesses to include drag shows is a "content based restriction on speech" which amounts to an infringement of the performers and club owners' First Amendment rights.

A recording of the Portland City Council meeting is available online.

From WKRN, the owners of Elite Productions, who produce the drag shows locally, claim the previous two performances have sold out and that the revised ordinance "would put them out of business."

Prior to the meeting, a crowd gathered outside to express their opposition to the proposed definition change. They were met by "street preacher Tim Brown" according to The Tennessean.

Exclusive to O&AN we have video from the rally and photos, with thanks to contributor Jeff Swafford.


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