Non-profit theater company sues DA Mulroy over drag legislation

Friends of George's theatre company
Friends of George's theatre company(Friends of George's)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 7:42 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A second lawsuit related to the legislation restricting drag performances was just filed Thursday morning—this one filed against Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy.

On Wednesday, the non-profit LGBTQ+ theatre company Friends of George’s filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Tennessee over the passing of the first-of-its-kind bill.

Thursday’s lawsuit, also filed by Friends of George’s, similarly claims the legislation is unconstitutional on the grounds of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In the new suit, the company seeks to be granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that would prevent the legislation’s statutes from taking effect in Shelby County on April 1.

A drag production hosted by Friends of George’s is scheduled to take place two weeks later.

Friends of George’s alleges that due to the bill’s loosely-defined statutes, there is no way for a Tennessee citizen to know what conduct could be a violation of the law.

As a result of the uncertainty, organizers across the state have canceled their pride events, with the exception of Mid-South Pride, due to fear of felony charges.

DA Mulroy cited confusion about the legislation in his response, saying in part, “It’s important to understand the scope of this law so that it doesn’t have a harmful effect on constitutionally protected expression.”

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