Nashville Pride 2023
Nashville Pride Parade 2023 on the city’s Broadway. (Photo: John Partipilo)
Thousands celebrated the rights of LGBTQ Tennesseans on Saturday and Sunday in Nashville, including First Lady Jill Biden, who spoke to crowds on Bicentennial Mall in the shadow of Tennessee’s Capitol.
“We know there are those who wish to undo the hard-won progress that this community has made and tomorrow we will brave those battles together once more,” Biden said.
The First Lady’s words likely resonated with Tennessee’s LGBTQ community after a legislative session that featured bills to criminalize drag performances in public spaces and prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming care to minors.
A federal judge in Memphis ruled on June 2 that the anti-drag law, known as the Adult Entertainment Act, violated the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
The Lookout, along with other media outlets, recently reported Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti demanded records from Vanderbilt University Medical Center on aspect of gender-affirming care, including patient records to volunteers’ resumes, communications with outside therapists and emails sent by members of the general public to an LGBTQ health questions portal. Skrmetti says the inquiries are part of a Medicaid fraud investigation.
But angst was in short supply over the weekend, despite steaming heat and humidity, as LGBTQ and corporate groups participated in a parade on Broadway before moving to a two-day festival that featured musical performances, craft booths and plenty of drag.
First Lady Jill Biden addresses the crowd at Nashville Pride festival on Saturday. Nashville Mayor John Cooper and his wife, Laura, are to her left. (Photo: John Partipilo)
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