Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Wife, Maria Lee, was diagnosed with lymphoma, according to an announcement made by the governor’s office on Friday.
The governor’s office stated that Maria Lee is expected to begin treatment immediately.
Governor Bill Lee said that the news was unexpected but that her prognosis was good and the cancer was treatable.
He also requested prayers for his wife’s healing and hoped they would have more to share in the coming days.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in cells of the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Depending on the specific type of lymphocyte affected, it can occur in different body parts and is categorized as either Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Maria Lee was born and raised in Maryland and learned a life of service from her parents, who were active in their church and fostered infants and cared for elderly neighbors.
In 2019, she launched her volunteer initiative in Tennessee after being drawn to education, which is how she met her future husband. Maria Lee was the third-grade teacher for Bill Lee’s son, and the governor’s first wife died in a horse riding accident in 2000.
In the epilogue of his book, “The Road I’m On,” Governor Bill Lee wrote about how Maria came into his life and brought him a new level of joy and love. The couple was married in 2008.
The governor will sign anti-drug bills
Republican Governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, plans to sign a bill restricting where drag performances can occur by prohibiting “adult cabaret entertainment” deemed “harmful to minors” from being performed on public property or locations where children may see them.
The legislation does not explicitly mention “drag shows.” Still, it does broaden the definition of adult cabaret to include “male or female impersonators,” topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, and strippers.
During a press conference, Lee faced questions regarding the legislation and other anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
An activist presented him with a photo of himself from a high school yearbook, showing him wearing women’s clothing in 1977.
Governor Lee dismissed the photo, saying it was “ridiculous” to conflate it with drag show performances currently under attack in GOP-led states, claiming that “s*xualized entertainment in front of children” is a severe issue.
When asked to provide specific examples of inappropriate drag shows in front of children, Governor Lee pointed to a nearby school building, stating that children potentially being exposed to s*xualized entertainment and obscenity is a concern that needs addressing.
This is the second time a yearbook photo of Governor Lee has caused controversy, with a picture of him wearing a Confederate uniform at an “Old South” party also causing backlash in 2018.
I am additionally signing another legislation that would ban most gender-affirming care for transgender youth, despite significant opposition from healthcare professionals, LGBTQ+ advocates, and the medical community.
It should be noted that drag performances typically do not involve nudity or stripping, as those elements are more commonly associated with parody, which is a separate form of entertainment.
While explicit language and adult themes are often present in drag performances for adult audiences, they do not typically involve s*xual content or obscenity.