Country singer Maren Morris made an appearance at a pro-LGBTQ benefit concert yesterday, weeks after the state announced a ban on drag shows in public places or places where children could be present. It also prevent drag shows from occurring within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, or places of worship.
The concert was held in response to the new legislation, in an effort to raise money for LGBTQ organizations across the state of Tennessee.
Titled “Love Rising,” the Bridgestone Arena concert featured performances from Jason Isbell, Sheryl Crow, Hayley Williams, Hozier and more.
And needless to say, Maren was not hesitant to share her displeasure of the ban.
According to FOX News, she told the audience from the stage:
“I’m Maren and this is such an honor to be here. I don’t really know what’s illegal or legal anymore, with these bills. Like, I don’t even think they know.”
Morris also said that her two-year-old son was excited to meet the drag queens:
“I brought my son here earlier today for soundcheck, he’s turning three this week, and we got to go in the room where all the queens were getting ready and doing their makeup, and he freaked out when he went in there because… it’s just magic what drag queens do.
There’s wigs everywhere, and the smell of hairspray and wig glue, there’s glitter, everyone’s in a good mood. They’re so excited to be here tonight, it’s just like a room of love.
And we went back to my dressing room and my son is like, ‘I need the queens.’ I’m like, ‘uh you’re looking at her’… no, just kidding.”
She went on to perform “Better Than We Found It,” which she said she wrote for her son following the death of George Floyd:
“Just seeing my son meet all these lovely people here today, get to meet some queens backstage. He’s three, and he’s growing up here as a Nashvillian, and I just want to leave this world for him a little bit better than the one we’re in right now. And I feel like nights like tonight help do that.
And yes, I introduced my son to some drag queens today so Tennessee, f*cking arrest me.”
She also shared to Instagram:
“Love rose up.
Thank you Nashville, the gorgeous Queens and the LGBTQ+ community for showing up last night.
A HUGE thank you to Allison Russell, Ali Harnell, and Hunter Kelly for pulling off the unthinkable at Bridgestone. A lot of healing happened and it won’t be forgotten.”
Back in January, Morris also made an appearance as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she also apologized to the LGBTQ+ community, saying:
“Coming from country music and its relationship with LGBTQ+ members, I just want to say I’m sorry.
And I love you guys for making me feel like a brave voice in country music. I just thank you guys so much for inspiring me. I’m gonna cry! I gotta go!”
Tennessee has become the first state to ban drag shows on public property near schools, however other states are expected to follow suit.
The restriction specifically mentions “Adult Cabaret Performance,” which according to the law includes:
“Adult cabaret that features topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, or similar entertainers.”
Republican state Senator Jack Johnson, who sponsored the bill, told CNN that it is not meant to target drag performances or transgender people:
“For clarification, this bill is not targeting any group of people. It does not ban drag shows in public. It simply puts age restrictions in place to ensure that children are not present at sexually explicit performances.”
Violators of the new law will be charged with a misdemeanor and repeat offenders with a felony.