A federal judge in Tennessee has temporarily halted a law that would have restricted drag performances in front of children. The restraining order was issued on Friday, as the judge deemed the legislation likely to be "vague and overly-broad" concerning its limits on speech. The bill would have taken effect on Saturday.

Tennessee's Republican Governor Bill Lee had signed the bill in February after it had passed through the state legislature. Intended to restrict drag performances in public or in front of children, the measure was supported by conservatives nationwide who argue that such shows are inappropriate for young viewers.

Governor Lee previously stated that the law aimed to shield children from potential exposure to "sexualized entertainment" or "obscenity." Over the past several months, at least 15 states have seen GOP-led efforts to limit drag performances.

The Memphis, Tennessee judge sided with Friends of George's, a Memphis-based LGBTQ+ theater group that filed a lawsuit against the state. U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker, appointed by former President Donald Trump, stated in the ruling, "At this point, the court finds that the statute is likely both vague and overly-broad."

He added that the state had not demonstrated a compelling interest for imposing the intended restrictions.

The debate surrounding drag shows in Tennessee primarily focuses on whether they are inherently sexually explicit. Performers and civil rights organizations have criticized the proposed drag restrictions, arguing that they are unconstitutional, redundant under existing obscenity laws, and would likely lead to increased harassment and violence against LGBTQ+ individuals.