Maren Morris is taking a stand against Tennessee’s controversial drag show bill.
While performing at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Monday night for “Love Rising,” an all-star benefit concert for LGBTQ causes, the country singer said: “I introduced my son to some drag queens today. So Tennessee, (expletive) arrest me.”
Ticket proceeds for the show benefited local advocacy groups including Tennessee Equality Project, Inclusion Tennessee, OUT Memphis, The Tennessee Pride Chamber and Looking Out Foundation, a non-profit co-founded by singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, pledged to match donations up to $100,000.
“He’s growing up here as a Nashvillian, and I just want to leave this world for him a little bit better than the one we’re in right now,” Morris said of her son. “And I feel like nights like tonight help do that.”
Morris’s latest comments come at the heels of Tennessee’s Gov. Bill Lee recent signature on a law restricting drag performances on public property, which was passed earlier this month. Its language prohibits “adult-oriented” entertainment harmful to children, including by “male and female impersonators.”
Morris performed songs “Found It” and “The Middle” – but ceded the spotlight to the splits and handstands of Nashville drag performer Alexia Noelle Paris.
The “The Bones” artist took to Instagram to reflect on the evening, too. “Love rose up,” she wrote. “Thank you Nashville, the gorgeous Queens and the LGBTQ+ community for showing up last night. A HUGE thank you to @allisonrussellmusic , @aharnell + @nashvillehk for pulling off the unthinkable at Bridgestone. A lot of healing happened and it won’t be forgotten. 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️”
This isn’t the first time Morris has spoken publicly about LGBTQ rights.
During a January episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the country singer served as a Season 15 guest judge and shared a heartfelt moment with contestants on the rocky relationship between the country music industry and the LGBTQ community, apologizing for how country music treats LGBTQ community members.
In August, she made waves after calling out Brittany Aldean, wife of country singer Jason Aldean, for making transphobic comments on social media.
Contributing: Pamela Avila, Jeanine Santucci and Melissa Brown, USA TODAY; Matthew Leimkuehler, Nashville Tennessean