Aug 31 2023
01:00 pm

Blount Pride is holding the 2023 festival at the Clayton Center on the Maryville College campus.

As reported by the Maryville Daily Times on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, front page above the fold:

"Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond announced his office is open to prosecuting cases under the recently passed Adult Entertainment Act in a letter sent Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 29. Desmond said the move was a response to questions and concerns he received from officials, law enforcement and citizens concerned about the Saturday, Sept. 2 Blount Pride festival."
"United States District Court Judge Thomas Parker ruled the act unconstitutional in June."
"The Attorney General for the State of Tennessee maintains that the AEA passes constitutional muster, has appealed this holding, and further opined that the ruling is binding only on the 30th Judicial District,” he wrote.

The 30th Judicial District includes Shelby County. Blount County falls under the 5th Judicial District."

Then again reported by the Maryville Daily Times on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, front page above the fold:

"The Maryville Police Department said Wednesday, Aug. 30, that it will take “appropriate action” if organizers of Saturday’s Blount Pride 2023 festival violate the state’s Adult Entertainment Act. The law bans “adult cabaret” within 1,000 feet of institutions such as schools, residences and places of worship, but one federal judge has ruled it unconstitutional."

Then other media picked up the story.

Are they trying to put the Blount Pride community in danger? Or, do the stories bring protection?

From the Knoxville News Sentinel:
"The [ACLU] civil rights group is asking a judge in the Eastern District of Tennessee's U.S. District Court to issue a temporary restraining order against Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond, Sheriff James Berrong, Alcoa Police Chief David Carswell, Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp and Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti to stop them from prosecuting anyone for performing a drag show at the Blount Pride festival."

Also reported on WVLT.

"Threatening to enforce this unconstitutional law amounts to a harmful attempt to remove LGBTQ people from public life, which is simply unacceptable,” [ACLU-TN’s legal director, Stella] Yarbrough said. “The court has made it abundantly clear that drag performance is constitutionally-protected expression under the First Amendment, regardless of where in the state it is performed.”
"The ACLU’s argument is that, since it was ruled unconstitutional to enforce the anti-drag law in Shelby County, it should also be unconstitutional to do so in Blount County."

Let's hope all are safe.

R. Neal's picture

Federal judge blocks

Federal judge issues restraining order and injunction...

"Greer's order said Desmond cannot enforce, detain, arrest or seek warrants to enforce the act and cannot interfere with Blount Pride's festival."

Blount DA says he will comply.


bizgrrl's picture

Nice. Glad there was a

Nice. Glad there was a response before the event.

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