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In Murfreesboro, TN, an ordinance targeting homosexuality is changed

ACLU of Tennessee

In June 2023, the city council of Murfreesboro, Tennessee enacted an ordinance banning public indecency. The ordinance listed several examples of what “public indecency” might entail, including lewd acts and nudity. Another example was “indecent sexual conduct.”

A separate section of the city code has included homosexuality in its definition of “indecent sexual conduct” since 1977. And that definition has been used to target LGBTQ public gatherings, including this year's BoroPride parade, and even Rutherford County library texts depicting homosexuality in 2023.

The city code has since been updated to remove homosexuality, following a legal challenge by the ACLU of Tennessee, from its definition of indecent conduct. But the impact of ordinance on Murfreesboro’s LGBTQ community continues.


Erin Reed, independent journalist and content creator

Leoneda Inge is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.