The city of St. George will not appeal a federal judge's ruling that its decision to deny a permit for a drag show was in violation of the First Amendment.

Southern Utah Drag Stars which sued the city this spring, claimed its leaders' actions amounted to censorship, discrimination and favoritism. Meanwhile, the city claimed the permit denial was based on the group's violation of a city ordinance. U.S. District Judge David Nuffer called the city's reasoning a pretext for discrimination.

Nuffer's ruling was regarding a preliminary injunction requested by Southern Utah Drag Stars that allows it to hold a drag show later this week. The ruling is not, however, the end of the lawsuit. The two parties will continue to litigate in court.

"The city has decided not to appeal Judge Nuffer's decision and will continue to move forward with the litigation in this matter," the city said in a statement. "In the meantime, we have been working with the event organizers and the event will move forward at the Dixie Sunbowl on June 30. We expect the event will be peaceful and comply with all laws."

Southern Utah Drag Stars says it plans to hold a friendly-friendly drag performance Friday at 5 p.m. at the Dixie Sunbowl.

"Every day, more and more LGBTQ+ people find the language to describe their own experiences allowing many to live openly and authentically. Drag is art, entertainment, and political speech, by building community and acceptance," Southern Utah Drag Stars and ACLU of Utah said in a joint social media post. "We will continue to fight for this freedom in Utah."

St. George officials did not answer a question from about what factors influenced their decision not to appeal.

Similar cases in other parts of the country have been ruled in favor of drag performers on First Amendment grounds. A federal judge in Tennessee struck down the state's ban on drag shows, calling it unconstitutional. Likewise, a Florida federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on a law that prohibits admitting children to certain drag show performances.

In October, St. George paid a $625,000 separation agreement to former city manager Adam Lenhard after he refused to cancel a permit for HBO's "We're Here" drag show tour event in Town Square because he feared it would lead to a discrimination lawsuit.