New Orleans Thank goodness for the governor and state legislators in Tennessee! They saw a problem, realized it was happening on public property across their great state, and quickly became the first state in the country to face it head on and try to fix. Who says our state lawmakers in conservative bastions like Tennessee are only interested in partisan, culture wars? Not so! At least not in Tennessee, so hopefully other states facing this kind of problem will come clean and get their acts together, or at least put their acts on in the right venues and not on public property.
Judging by the recently passed law, Tennessee had gone wild! Who knew? Adult cabarets, male and female strip shows, drag shows, topless and naked dancing all must have been happening on public property. Maybe such was going on right in the halls of the state capitol in Nashville, or even in the cloakrooms of the legislators? We can’t know for sure, because they aren’t saying. Hopefully, some intrepid reporters for the TV and newspapers will file a freedom of information request and get the skinny on where this was going on. Maybe in state parks? School auditoriums? City halls? County courthouses! Can you just imagine?
God help us, if such shows and dancing were part of the Tennessee welcome centers on the interstates or on the economic development and commerce folks’ show bill when potential businesses and industries came to visit. Perhaps we’ll find that his was part of what Tennessee used to entice all of those German and Japanese automobile transplant complexes into the state? If that’s not all scandalous enough, minors seemed to be involved. It wasn’t enough that state facilities and public properties were the locations for this kind of wild burlesque and scandalous goings on, but they were letting youngsters attend and gawk alongside them, we have to assume.
But, no more! Republican governor Lee has signed the bill presented to him by the Republican-dominated legislature to put a stop to Tennessee becoming the Nevada of the South. As reported in the Times:
The law, which limits “adult cabaret” performances that feature “topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators,” will take effect later this year. Those who violate the new law will be charged with a misdemeanor, or a felony for subsequent offenses.
Thank goodness, but I still have some questions, having read the bill and the story of Tennessee’s first-in-the-nation success in banning such affairs on public properties. Who was the whistleblower that should get credit for all of this? If it was a local mayor or state legislator who stumbled into such performances in their facilities, they should come out of the closet and take any applause coming to them. On the other hand, the way that lobbying and capitalism works, I read that all of this is still hunky-dory at adult cabaret locations, as long as they continue to check IDs at the door, so was it the association of whoop-de-do clubs that whispered into the ear of some local pol, because they were sick of losing business to all the competition from unlicensed shows being run on public property?
We may never know, but I have my suspicious, and I suspect that the truth will be as revealing as some of the Tennessee shows on public property have been. Shame, shame, tell us the whole story, Tennessee!