NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The halt on the state’s enforcement of the anti-drag bill signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee in March has been extended through the end of next month, according to the business at the center of the lawsuit.
Memphis LGBTQ-friendly theater company Friends of George’s (FOG), who sued the state over the “adult cabaret entertainment” law that would have taken effect April 1, released a statement earlier this month detailing how the temporary restraining order (TRO) against the law had been extended.
A federal judge temporarily blocked the law from going into effect on March 31, stating a TRO would apply for 14 days unless the Court elected to extend it. That 14-day period would have expired Friday, April 14, but Judge Thomas L. Parker, a Trump appointee to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, extended the TRO until May 26.
Friends of George’s called the extension “another win for all drag performers across the state of Tennessee” as well as the company itself in a statement.
“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support Friends of George’s has received from allies standing with us all across the country,” said Mark Campbell, FOG Board of Directors President. “We refuse to sit still while hateful rhetoric and oppressive laws threaten our freedom of expression.”
In addition to suing state officials in charge of the enforcement of the law, FOG also sued the Shelby County District Attorney General Seven J. Mulroy in a separate case. Parker ordered both cases consolidated under the Friends of George’s v. Lee case.
The Tennessee Attorney General’s office, which is representing the state government in the case, declined to speak on the pending litigation.
According to court documents, a preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for May 22.