Legislation to protect children from exposure to adult entertainment advances in General Assembly

Jan 31, 2023 at 09:14 pm by WGNS Radio News

Legislation to protect children from being exposed to sexually explicit performances is one step closer to becoming Tennessee law. On Tuesday, the measure cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Senate Bill 3/House Bill 9, sponsored by Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) and State Representative Chris Todd (R-Jackson), would restrict adult cabaret performances that appeal to a prurient interest from being performed on public or private property if kids could be around to see it.

Under the bill, private establishments such as bars or restaurants that host sexually explicit shows must require patrons to show ID upon entry to ensure they are age 18 or older. Johnson says this is a common-sense protection that provides clarity regarding what performances are not appropriate for children.


“This legislation is about protecting children,” said Johnson. “There are certain performances, movies, and places that are inappropriate for children. Just as current law prohibits strip clubs from admitting children, this legislation would also prohibit sexually explicit adult entertainment from being performed on public property or any non-age-restricted private property where a minor could be present. This is a common-sense measure with broad support from Tennesseans.”

“It also gives confidence to parents that they can take their kids to a public or private show and will not be blindsided by a sexualized performance,” Johnson added.

A violation of this bill would result in a Class A misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent offense would result in a Class E felony.

The legislation now advances to the Senate floor to be considered by the full Senate.

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