City leaders in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb 30 minutes from Nashville, narrowly approved a permit for the township’s LGBTQ Pride festival this year, countering fierce opposition for what has normally been a procedural formality.

Casting the tiebreaker in a 5-4 vote Tuesday night, Franklin Mayor Ken Moore called for unity among community members.

«It’s important that we continue to learn who our neighbors are in Franklin,» Moore saying to a room full of hundreds of city residents. «The same First Amendment that we’re talking about tonight for religious groups also applies to the Pride group, and they have an opportunity to express themselves, and they have an opportunity, if they want, to request the use of our parks.»

The resistance to issuing a permit for this year’s Pride festival in Franklin, a city of about 85,000 peopleechoes a nationwide backlash against LGBTQ people, or what opponents in the community call queer «lifestyles.»

“A decision on Pride fest is not isolated or in a vacuum. It’s part of a social change agenda that wants to reach Franklin, and we’ve seen it across the country,” said Robin Steenman, a Franklin resident. “That agenda is not pro-religion, pro-community, pro-Christianity, pro-family or pro-America. Rather, it seeks the destruction of all those elements and has been quite successful in many places.»

Perhaps nowhere in the nation have LGBTQ issues become a more political flashpoint this year than in Tennessee.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, signed into law the first bill of its kind last month to restrict certain drag performances, banning the art form in public or places where it could be viewed by minors. Artists who break the law more than once can be charged with a felony and sent to prison for up to six years.

A federal judge temporarily halted the law last month, one day before it went into effect.

Regardless, the organizers of Franklin Pride chose not to allow drag performances at this year’s event.

“We decided not to include a drag performance at our festival this year just because it’s so sensitive right now,” Clayton Klutts, President of Franklin Pride, he told NBC affiliate WSMV of Nashville. “Not because we felt we had to, but it was just a way to work with city leaders and get our application approved.”

Lee also signed into law a bill last month that will restrict gender-affirming care for trans minors in the state. Aside from the tension over controversial state legislation, things came to a boil after a shooting at a Nashville school last month left six people dead. Some on the right blamed the 28-year-old suspect’s gender identity for the massacre, including several members of the Franklin community who spoke out against the Pride event.

Although Moore approved the festival’s permit, he also threatened to revoke his support if organizers disobey public decency ordinances.

“If you violate our trust in this board, I will work just as hard and I am sure this board will join me in working very hard to make sure that event never happens,” Moore said.

The Franklin city board was also scheduled to weigh in on a «community decency» policy Tuesday that would ban excessive «sexually suggestive behavior» and «displays of affection» in public. Board members deferred a vote on the measure until their next meeting on April 26.