Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee signed two pieces of legislation into law Thursday protecting children from sex-change procedures and sexually explicit drag shows.
The new law against sex-change treatments targets procedures such as mastectomies on girls who come to believe they are boys and makes it illegal to give children cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. The bill passed the Republican-controlled state House by a vote of 77-16.
“We should not allow permanent, life-altering decisions that hurt children. With the partnership of the General Assembly, this practice should end in Tennessee,” Lee said in the fall after an investigation by Daily Wire host Matt Walsh revealed that the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) had performed double mastectomies on minors.
VUMC paused all such surgeries in October 2022 after an inquiry from Republican lawmakers.
The law could face legal challenges as Left-wing groups in the Volunteer State, like the ACLU-TN, have vowed to sue, claiming that the life-altering procedures are “necessary” for children.
A second piece of legislation signed into law by the Republican governor bans adults from impersonating the opposite sex in public or near where children could see it while appealing to prurient interests — that is, engaging in a sexually suggestive performance.
“The bill defines an ‘adult cabaret performance’ to mean a performance in a location other than an adult cabaret that features topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to prurient interest, or similar entertainers, regardless of whether or not performed for consideration,” according to the bill’s summary.
Anyone who violates the law would be hit with a misdemeanor, and repeat offenders could face felony charges.
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Leif Le Mahieu contributed to this report.