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Law Office of Kevin Teets Blog

Monday, September 18, 2017

TN Equality Project Give Notice to City of Portland of Intent to File Lawsuit if Board of Alderman Passes Ordinance to Ban Drag Performances

On Monday, the Law Office of Kevin Teets sent a notice to the city attorney, mayor, and members of the Board of Alderman of Portland, TN of the firm's client's intent to file a lawsuit against the city if the city passes the controversial ordinance that would ban drag from being performed in the city's commercial district. 

The letter, which can be found below, highlights the reasons why this ordinance is unconstitutional. In the letter, Attorney Kevin Teets, says: " Respectfully, Mr. Amonette, there are places in this world where the government can tell women what they can and cannot wear and where they can tell men what they can and cannot wear. While I am unable to locate the specialized industrial district on a map of Portland, where this ordinance would have my client’s express themselves, I am able to locate the City of Portland on a map of Tennessee and the state of Tennessee on a map of the United States, and in both this state and this country, my clients have rights codified in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and in Article I Section 19 of the Tennessee Constitution.

It matters not if my clients performing in drag is popular or "liked" in the city. To the contrary, the First Amendment is by its very nature designed to protect unpopular speech, even speech that is offensive. To see this otherwise, flies in the face of the Constitution, and would mean it is constitutional for Nazis with swastikas to march on a downtown as we have seen recently in Charlottesville, but that it is not constitutional for my clients to wear big hair, heels, stuffed bras and loud makeup and do the same.

As such, I state again, that this is an immediate demand to the city to withdraw Ordinance No. 17-59 from consideration. To do otherwise will result in expensive litigation for the city and the City of Portland will be enshrined in every text book example of how a government acted in violation of the first amendment rights of others."

A full copy of the letter can be found here

The Law Office of Kevin Teets represents clients in the areas of Davidson, Sumner, Williamson, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford and Wilson Counties.

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