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TN Politics: Protecting Children From Drag Queens Costs Nothing


Mississippi's Child Protective Services estimates an influx of 5,000 children annuallydue to the state's abortion ban. Staffing shortages at the state agency are blamed on low wages.

Tennessee's Department of Children Services reports that the state's juvenile detention centers are "100 percent filled," and some high-risk youths are sleeping in state offices under armed guard. With more impoverished families expected to turnover unwanted children to state custody as abortion is no longer an option, the costs and bureaucracy is expected to grow.

Political analyst Otis Sanford says Republicans who passed anti-abortion legislation have not yet given much thought to the massive societal repercussions of ending abortion in a state where many people cannot afford to raise children.

Performances by drag queens, however, have aroused great interest in Republicans and conservatives who see female impersonators as a dire threat to children and families. In Jackson, a movement to ban them from public facilities is underway.

And in Memphis, citizens are still wondering if city government, which allowed an an armed white supremacist group to shut down a drag show at M.O.S.H., will afford hate groups the same impunity to incite violence at other civic events in the future.

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher has covered Memphis news, arts, culture and politics for more than 20 years in print and on the radio. He is currently WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.