Country icon Maren Morris tells Tennessee to ‘f**king arrest me’ over drag queen ban

Maren Morris on stage with drag queen Alexia Noelle Paris at the Love Rising benefit concert in Tennessee.

Grammy-winning country singer Maren Morris has told Republican Tennessee lawmakers exactly what she thinks about their vile anti-drag bill.

The “‘80s Mercedes” singer performed at the Love Rising benefit concert in Tennessee on Monday (20 March), organised after the state introduced a nation-first drag ban to raise money for local LGBTQ+ organisations.

“Yes, I introduced my son to some drag queens today,” the 32-year-old musician told the crowd. “So Tennessee – f***ing arrest me.”

Tennessee’s measure on “adult cabaret performances” prohibits drag performers from performing in public spaces or in front of minors, effectively outlawing outdoor drag brunches, performances at Pride parades and Drag Queen Story Hour sessions.

When the law comes in to full effect, first offences will be classed as a misdemeanour. Second offences will be deemed a Class E felony, meaning drag performers could be sentenced to up to six years in jail, according to The Tennessean

In addition to demanding that Tennessee authorities arrest her, Morris was joined on stage by a dozen drag queens for a performance of “Crowded Table”, her song with female country supergroup The Highwomen.

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Morris’s fans have praised the star for continually being an LGBTQ+ ally and speaking out against the drag bans.

“A bit blurry eyed I’m tweeting something Maren Morris said at the concert last night,” one fan shared. “‘Can I live with myself with the side I chose to be on?’ Good question, isn’t it? Come, let’s show our compassion to all those, who need speaking up for.”

“This is what you get when your state enacts ridiculous bigoted legislation. Love always wins. #LoveRising was amazing,” another wrote.

A third wrote: “Moments like this make me so damn proud to be a Nashville native! I love this city, and hate has no home here.”

Morris has routinely sat on the right side of history in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

Last month, she used her appearance as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race to apologise for country music’s homophobic legacy. In 2022, she encouraged her fanbase to raise more than $100,000 for trans charities in the US.

Alongside Drag Race legends including Trinity The Tuck, Danny Beard, and RuPaul himself, several other high profile celebrities have spoken out against Tennessee’s hateful drag ban.

Melissa McCarthy made a simple point about drag having existed for decades, while Kevin Bacon urged his followers to “join the fight” to protect people’s “right” to do drag.

Tennessee is currently the only state in which a drag ban has become law, but similar legislation is being considered in states including Arizona and Texas.

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