ACLU trans activist slams Tennessee governor's bills

STORY: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into law two bills that passed the state legislature last week, one restricting drag performances in public, and the other banning gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth. They are among the latest moves in Republican-led campaigns across the U.S. targeting LGBTQ+ Americans.

Lee said the drag bill, which comes into effect April 1, would protect children from being “potentially exposed to sexualized entertainment, to obscenity.”

Civil rights groups and drag performers have noted that Tennessee, like other states, already bans obscenity in front of minors, and call the restrictions unconstitutional, vague and redundant.

Seaton had this to say about the bill: "Our messaging around the drag ban, is that because drag is not inherently obscene, the law, Senate Bill 3, House Bill 9, that has just been passed and signed by the governor should not apply to drag performances as a whole, because drag is not an obscenity. Drag is not inherently inappropriate for children. But when that law is applied in that way to a non- obscene drag performance, we will be taking legal action.”

The other bill bans doctors from providing gender-affirming medical treatment, such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery, to transgender minors.

"I am working with community partners across the state to kind of prepare for what's next. And helping people just be ready for what's to come," Seaton said, "Because with the health care ban specifically, it requires all minors who are currently on puberty blockers or hormone therapy who will not turn 18 between now and March 31st of 2024 to completely de-transition."