MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Two people were detained by Memphis Police Wednesday after voicing concerns about Gov. Bill Lee’s plan to sign the bill that would restrict public drag performances.
Lee was in Memphis on Wednesday to unveil the new Georgette & Cato Johnson YMCA in Whitehaven.
While there, protesters interrupted his speech to express their opinions about a bill to restrict public drag performances. One person reportedly spoke into a bullhorn the moment Lee took the podium, yelling “Bill Lee is a liar and a fascist.”
“My message for the governor is, ‘You cannot destroy my livelihood,'” said another person as they were being put in the back of a police vehicle by officers.
Earlier this week, the governor said he plans to sign legislation that would limit where drag performances can take place, saying he hopes to ban adult cabaret that is harmful to minors.
Lee has been fielding questions about the bill since a photo surfaced that appeared to show him dressed in a skirt in his 1977 high school yearbook.
He responded Wednesday:
“What’s really sad is when folks try to distract people from the truth of what’s really happening,” Lee said. “Sexualized entertainment in front of children, and obscenity for children, is something that shouldn’t happen in this state. It’s ridiculous to try and conflate some high school skit to something that is as serious as something potentially harming children.”
Despite the disruption, it was a moment to celebrate those waiting years to open the state-of-the-art facility. You can feel the excitement from those like Councilwoman Patrice J. Robinson as she beams over the new YMCA location.
“We have been working on this seven years. Seven years. The number seven represents completion,” said Robinson.
Tymikia Glenn, the director of the YMCA in Whitehaven, said she is ready to run and operate the new facility.
“It’s been a long journey. One that is filled with so much joy. I am so excited. I’m honored and blessed,” she said.
The area along Elvis Presley Boulevard was deemed a childcare desert, but there is a new solution to that problem. There is also a big push to devote effort to older children in need of guidance.
“Our goal is to be a hub for teen programming because we figure if we can get our teens involved and get them nourished and loved on, that helps everyone out,” Glenn said.