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TN General Assembly advances bills protecting children from adult entertainment

Legislation aimed at protecting children from being exposed to sexually explicit performances is one step closer to becoming Tennessee law.

Last week, the measure cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. House Bill 9/ Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Senate Majority  Leader Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, and State Rep. 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.

The bill requires private establishments such as bars or restaurants that host sexually explicit shows to require patrons to show identification to ensure they are at least 18. The bill provides common-sense protection and clarity regarding what performances are not appropriate for children.

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 will be considered by the full Senate and in the House Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

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Another proposal up for consideration this week, House Bill 30 / Senate Bill 841, sponsored by State Rep. Clay Doggett, R-Pulaski and State Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, would require a person to obtain a valid entertainer permit from the adult-oriented establishment board in jurisdictions with a board, prior to performing an adult cabaret entertainment show. It prohibits public, private and commercial establishments from allowing anyone under the age of 18 to attend such a performance.  House Bill 30 is scheduled to be heard in the House Cities and Counties Subcommittee on Feb. 8.

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