Following reports of several concerned parents being expelled from school board meetings after reading excerpts from LGBTQ+ material approved for school libraries, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) did the same at a recent Senate hearing.
The bold move was made in the hearing of Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias who favors the inclusion of such books.
Kennedy, who has a knack for generating viral moments, spoke at a Tuesday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing — the purpose of the hearing was to review school curriculum and library inclusion guidelines held by several states.
Kennedy took the opportunity to note why the guidelines are appropriate by reading several lewd excerpts from LGBTQ+ books that conservative parents have requested be removed from public schools and public libraries.
Giannoulias attended the hearing as a witness. In the past, he has spearheaded legal efforts to block parents and school administrators from banning books they deem inappropriate for children.
The secretary of state has also previously attempted to block government funding of libraries that restrict the inclusion of LGBTQ+-themed books. Giannoulias cited the American Library Bill of Rights,” a document stating that reading materials shall not be removed or restricted because of “partisan or personal disapproval.”
Wanting to profile the material the Biden administration official was advocating, Kennedy read excerpts from two sexually explicit books.
Addressing the secretary of state at the hearing, Kennedy said, “Let’s take two books that have been much discussed. The first one is called ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue.’ And I will quote from it.”
Fox News published an excerpt from the exchange.
[Warning: The following transcript includes graphic depictions of sex.]
Kennedy read, “I put some lube on and got him on his knees, and I began to slide into him from behind. I pulled out of him and kissed him while he masturbated. He asked me to turn over while he slipped a condom on himself. This was my a—and I was struggling to imagine someone inside me. He got on top and slowly inserted himself into me. It was the worst pain I think I have ever felt in my life. Eventually, I felt a mix of pleasure with the pain.’”
Kennedy then read a book titled “Gender Queer”: “’I got a new strap-on harness today. I can’t wait to put it on you. It will fit my favorite dildo perfectly. You will look so hot. I can’t wait to have your c— in my mouth. I’m going to give you the b—— of your life, then I want you inside of me.’”
Believing he had made his point, Kennedy then asked Giannoulias: “Are you suggesting that only librarians should decide whether the two books that I just referenced should be available to kids? Is that what you’re saying?”
“No,” a shamed Giannoulias replied.
Kennedy pressed, “Tell me what you’re saying.”
As the Biden administration official attempted to sidestep the question, Kennedy interjected: “Don’t give me a speech, tell me what you’re asking.”
Giannoulias responded: “With all due respect, senator, the words you spoke are disturbing — especially coming out of your mouth — is very disturbing. But what I would also tell you that we’re not advocating for kids to read porn.”
Kennedy asked for clarification: “What are you advocating for?”
Giannoulias replied, “We are advocating for parents, random parents not to have the ability — under the guise of keeping kids safe — to try and challenge the worldview of every single manner on these issues.”
Kennedy appeared to think Giannoulias’ statement was disingenuous and pressed: “I want to know what you’re recommending. It sounds to me like what some of you are saying — the librarians should decide who gets to see that book.”
Giannoulias attempted to defend his position, saying, “When individual parents are allowed to make a decision of where that line is in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ — which involves a rape scene — should that book be pulled from our libraries? I think it becomes a slippery slope.”
Kennedy rebuked Giannoulias for being vague in his responses and attempting to obscure what Kennedy believed was his true intent. “Well,” said Kennedy to the secretary, “I think you ought to think about it a little bit more before you come here. If you’re going to propose something, you ought to be able in 30 seconds to be able to explain what you’re asking us to do.”
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