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ACLU of Tennessee Threatens Suit Ahead of City’s Ordinance Banning Drag Shows

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Ordinance Seeks to Classify Drag as ‘Adult Cabaret’

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee is threatening suit ahead of a vote on an ordinance banning drag shows in the city of Portland, Tennessee.

The group announced Friday that it had “sent a letter to the mayor and Board of Alderman of Portland, Tennessee, demanding that the city drop a proposed, unconstitutional ordinance that effectively bans drag shows.”

As HuffPost reported, “drag has recently become part of the nightlife in Portland, Tennessee, a town of about 12,000 just outside Nashville. Kyle and Raymond Guillermo, Jr. of Elite Productions have been holding drag nights at Envy, a Portland restaurant and bar since August.”

Following a sold-out show on September 5th, town officials began the notion of of classifying drag shows as a form of “adult-oriented business” that “may be erotic [in] nature.” Local measures prevent “adult-oriented business” within most of the city’s limits.

Guillermo told the Tennessean that the ordinance was a response to a drag show his company had organized  on August 12th, noting that afterwards he had received hate mail. “People are trying to get us out of Portland,” he said. “We are drag queens, we are not taking our clothes off. We are not cabaret.”

“Courts have held that government can impose some reasonable restrictions on adult entertainment,” the ACLU of Tennessee said in its statement. “However… artistic expression is not sexual or erotic in nature simply because it involves male or female impersonators and, therefore, it cannot be regulated like ‘adult-oriented businesses.’”

“The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and expression, no matter what you are wearing,” the chapter’s legal director Thomas H. Castelli said. “It’s discriminatory and unconstitutional to single out male and female impersonators in a bid to shut down their speech. If members of the city council are uncomfortable with the drag show, they do not need to attend the performance. But they can’t ban it.”

A copy of the letter sent to the mayor and Board of Alderman by the ACLU can be seen here. The vote is scheduled for tomorrow, September 18th.

Guillermo and co-owners Raymond Guillermo and Ronnie Carter are planning a rally at Portland’s City Hall ahead of the vote.

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'PRETTY TERRIFYING'

‘Bleakest Scenario’: Advisor to 4 Presidents Warns ‘All Hell Breaks Lose’ After 2024 Election

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One of the most experienced former White House staffers in America warned of the unraveling of America during a Saturday appearance on CNN.

David Gergen served as director of speechwriting for President Richard Nixon, communications director for Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, and counselor to the president under Bill Clinton.

CNN’s Pamela Brown said, “as someone who has advised so many presidents, who cares so much about American democracy, how concerned are you about the future U.S. elections with this backdrop of the ‘Big Lie’?”

“I’m very concerned,” Gergen replied.

“I think that we’re in more, we’re in potentially more danger than we were six months ago, a year ago. Listen, the bleakest scenario is that all the efforts that are being made now between Democrats and Republicans on where we’re going to go on the economy and pandemic, you know, that all these talks may collapse and we in government may be seen as dysfunctional,” he explained.

“The Republicans then use this in 2022 to take back the House and set themselves up for 2024. Trump could go on as crazy as he is now, he gets crazier as it goes along. You can see all this coming together at an outcome in 2024,” he continued.

“If Trump were to be re-elected, all hell is going to break loose in this country. On the other hand, if his supporters think it’s been stolen from him after 2024, all hell could break loose on that side, too. So I think we’re in pretty treacherous territory right now,” Gergen warned.

“Those are not very good options you just laid out there, David Gergen,” Brown said. “Pretty terrifying.”

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Steve Schmidt Warns on GOP Authoritarian Threat: ‘Democracy Cannot Survive’ When ‘The Lie and the Truth Stand Equally’

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Steve Schmidt, Lincoln Project co-founder and Republican strategist-turned-Democrat, expressed concern about the latest authoritarian attack leveled on the United States’ democracy as he urged Americans to push back against their threats.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Schmidt laid out the main issue with former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie.”

“The front of that fight is a space where the lie is confronted with the truth. That is the battleground. And it plays out in 1 million ways,” Schmidt said. “But a democracy cannot survive in a world where the lie and the truth stand equally. The system that we have is based on a compact that requires faith in belief and trust. It’s how we share power with people that we disagree with. We acknowledge that we live in a complex world where people have different perspectives.”

He continued, “And we have to accommodate those views. In the 21st century, I believe that there was a consensus that has unraveled in start really short period of time, that you can trace all the way back to the beginning of the country, in the name of political power — also, the same people claiming that they’re doing it in the name of freedom are seeing that that preservation of freedom means maintaining our power. Not necessarily abiding the results of the election. And when you get into that territory, you’re in a scary space.”

 

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News

Marjorie Taylor Green’s Chief of Staff Quits — Hours After Her Very Public Meltdown on the Capitol Steps

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) lost her most senior staffer on Friday after she made a scene on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

NBC News reported Greene “instigated a shouting match with a group of House Democrats who were holding an event outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday.”

Greene screamed that Democrats support “murder” for supporting abortion rights.

Following the incident, Greene announced that her chief of staff had “advised” her that he would no longer be working in her office.

“I want to thank my Chief of Staff, Patrick Parsons, for helping me take the fight to the Socialist Democrats as I’ve transitioned into Congress. He’s advised me he will be moving back into the political arena to help elect America First conservatives who can fight alongside me,” she posted to Twitter.

 

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