KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A federal judge has blocked an East Tennessee district attorney from enforcing a state law restricting public drag performances after he sent a letter to Blount Pride organizers warning they could be prosecuted if they violate the law.

U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer granted a temporary restraining order against Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond from enforcing the Adult Entertainment Act (AEA), a state law that bans ‘adult cabaret entertainment’ on public property or where children could see which was ruled unconstitutional by a federal district judge in West Tennessee in June.

Ahead of a planned celebration of the LGBTQ+ community on the campus of Maryville College, Desmond sent a letter to organizers and other officials asserting that the judge’s ruling did not apply in this district and that he was prepared to prosecute any potential violations of the AEA at the event.

Desmond’s letter prompted a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Blount Pride and drag performer Flamy Grant, arguing the letter was “a naked attempt to chill” constitutionally protected free speech.

“Had Defendant Desmond merely wished to notify the public that he intends to enforce the (anti-drag law), he could have issued a public statement,” the lawsuit states. “Instead, he sent a letter targeting Blount Pride and the drag artists who are scheduled to perform.”

All parties in the lawsuit have been ordered by Greer to appear at the federal courthouse in Greeneville on Friday, Sept. 8 at 10 a.m.

The Blount Pride event is scheduled for Saturday, Sep. 2 at 1 p.m. It will take place at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College Campus.