Governor Lee Fires Back After California’s Newsom Criticizes Tennessee’s New Law Forbidding Drag Shows in Public Spaces

Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom caught the attention of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Twitter over the weekend after criticizing legislation recently signed into law in the Volunteer State.

Last Thursday, Lee signed legislation (SB3/HB9) which outlaws “adult cabaret performances” – including drag shows – in public spaces and restricts them to age-appropriate venues. The bill creates “an offense for a person who engages in an adult cabaret performance on public property or in a location where the adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a person who is not an adult.”

California’s Newsom shared an Associated Press article detailing Tennessee’s new law on Twitter, commenting, “Tennessee has the 8th highest murder rate in the nation. It ranks 44th among states for health outcomes. And this is what the Governor is focused on.”

To this, Governor Lee fired back, “I’m often asked why so many families & companies move from California to Tennessee. People want to live in a low-tax state that supports families & believes freedom & opportunity belong to everybody—not just the elite. If you like rankings, we recommend the Uhaul Growth Index.”

The most recent Uhaul Growth Index tracking migration trends data across the U.S. showed that Tennessee was one of the top states for growth in 2022 while California was the worst. Out of the entire nation, Tennessee was the sixth largest growth state while California was the 50th.

Former Tennessee Republican congressional candidate Robby Starbuck also replied to Newsom’s tweet criticizing Tennessee’s new law, commenting, “California does one thing MUCH better than Tennessee: Enrich @uhaul from all the people moving out of your failed state. Oh and you neglected to tell people that CALIFORNIA has the highest number of mass shootings in America despite all the gun control laws you signed into law.”

“You’re literally arguing for grown men to dress up as women and simulate sex in front of kids as entertainment. You’re sick, you’re unfit to lead and your state is a failure that people are fleeing in droves,” Starbuck added in response to Newsom’s tweet.

Tennessee’s Lee has received criticism from many prominent Democrat figures and the White House in recent days since signing SB3/HB9 and SB1/HB1, which prohibits minors from receiving puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transgender surgeries.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Bill Lee” by Gov. Bill Lee. Photo “Gavin Newsom” by California Governor. Background Photo “Tennessee State Capitol” by FaceMePLS. CC BY 2.0.


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9 Thoughts to “Governor Lee Fires Back After California’s Newsom Criticizes Tennessee’s New Law Forbidding Drag Shows in Public Spaces”

  1. Chris

    If I were living in California, I’d vote for Governor Lee twice

  2. Ed Butler

    Don’t hold back Gov. Lee! There ain’t no substitute for the truth! Thanks for caring enough to fire back!

  3. Jay

    The peoples republic of CA is a disaster and they want us all to be just like them. Misery loves company.

  4. Pandora

    I am so proud of Governor Lee and our state house and senate reps who voted for this bill. Who in their right mind could be bitter about adults voting to protect children from age-inappropriate performances? With all of Newsom’s problems in California I suggest he MIND HIS OWN BUSINESS …which is failing miserably by the way! Tennessee is protecting children. Thank you to our Governor and legislators! Well Done!

  5. Teddy

    You go Governor Lee…

  6. Phyllis West

    I’m Proud of our Governor & General Assembly have morals & common sense, which this Country needs more of badly.
    We can no longer trust our Federal Government starting with the fake resident in the White House & his army of Marxist Deep State BureaucRATS.
    Including the FDA, NIH, DOJ/FBI, IRS, DOE, DOT, DHS, DOI, ON & ON. THE GOVERNMENT IS WAY TOO BIG. A country with Open Borders is not a Sovereign Country. The United States is a Constitutional Republic, governed by the PEOPLE, not a Democracy governed by Elites. Most Americans don’t know the difference bc of our failed Public Education. Most of the 3 letter Agencies in DC do not have Constitutional Authority to exist in this great Republic. Our US Constitution determines what the Federal government should do. Everything else is delegated to the States.
    This country is sick & its going to take an army of Patriots to bring it back to good health with a live experienced Leader who needs no on the job training.

  7. Il Professore

    I ,like many, fled California because of the ridiculously inept state leadership. The cost of living, the escalating crime, the WOKE mindset, out of control public spending, the collapsing infra-structure (all the direct result of poor leadership) turned California into a dump. I know many who have left Coastal and Southern California for Texas, Florida and Tennessee. All will stand firm opposing the likes of Newsome who try spread their insanity here. We are blessed having leaders as we have in the statehouse and in Congress. I agree with the comments of Ms.Braken and Mr. Price, stand strong Governor. Newsome, keep your perverted ideas and perverts out of this beautiful state.

  8. Karen Bracken

    If our Governor is being criticized by the likes of communist Newsom and Joe Biden means he surely must be doing something right. Keep it up Governor Lee. The more criticism you get from these vermin the better we here in Tennessee like it.

  9. Tim Price

    Stand strong Bill Lee! Tennessee is behind you on this one as a majority of Tennesseans think you and the legislature did the right thing!