A newly approved Montana law that attempted to limit open drag performances has been temporarily suspended by a federal judge, US District Court Judge Brian Morris due to the Pride Event.
This choice was made only days before the annual Montana Pride celebration, which will take place in Helena from Sunday through August 6, and is intended to be LGBT-friendly.
Judge Morris defended his decision by claiming that the rule will unfairly punish both drag performers and others who don’t adhere to conventional gender and identity norms.
He also made note of the possibility that the transgender community would suffer as a result of the law’s current wording. The law would have made it illegal for minors to attend sexually explicit acts and for such performances to take place in public areas where kids may be present.
Temporary Order Protects Montana Pride Attendees
The statute had been challenged in court before this decision, and the opposing side’s lawyer claimed that the vague meanings of the law’s phrases had caused people to self-censor out of concern for possible prosecution.
Judge Morris noted that without the temporary restraining order, both the plaintiffs and the estimated 15,000 Montanans eager to attend the Montana Pride activities would have been subjected to stifled expression and exposed to potential civil or criminal responsibility.
Now that the judge’s temporary injunction is in effect, Montana Pride is free to carry out its plans and stage its events in public areas. The parade, street dance, and drag brunch that are all part of the festival will now be permitted to happen as planned.
As a result of this ruling, Montana Pride’s organizers and participants can now take part in the celebrations without worrying about any legal implications. However, the issue is still pending, and future court cases will ultimately decide whether or not the legislation prohibiting open drag performances will stand.