Republican Senator reads graphic passages from books including Gender Queer and All Boys Aren’t Blue in disturbing hearing on literature in schools
- Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) read graphic and sexually explicit passages from LGBTQ books during a Senate Judiciary Hearing on Tuesday
- He quoted excerpts from Gender Queer and All Boys Aren’t Blue
- Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulis, a witness on Tuesday, said it was ‘disturbing’ to hear Kennedy read the passages
Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) read explicit and sexually graphic passages from books allowed in Illinois schools as the fight continues for Republicans to keep inappropriate subject matter out of the reach of young children at public schools and libraries.
Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulis was ‘disturbed’ and noticeably uncomfortable watching the 71-year-old senator read the passages during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.
The moment instantly went viral as Kennedy read publicly in the Senate hearing room words like ‘masturbated,’ ‘a**,’ ‘c**k,’ ‘strap-on harness,’ and ‘dildo’ from the two pro-LGBTQ books Gender Queer and All Boys Aren’t Blue.
Both books have been the subject of discussion after they were removed from libraries in some schools because of the very explicit gay sexual acts detailed.
The hearing Tuesday centered around Illinois’ anti-book ban law.
Giannoulias, who was a witness at the hearing, has spearheaded legal efforts in his state to block parents from being able to ban books they deem as inappropriate to their children.
He specifically pushed an effort earlier this summer to block government funding for libraries that don’t adhere to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which states that reading materials should not be removed or restricted because of ‘partisan or personal disapproval.’
After reading highly graphic sections of the books, Kennedy asked Giannoulias: ‘What are you asking us to do? 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,’ he replied, but Kennedy demanded: ‘Don’t give me a speech, tell me what you’re asking.’
‘With all due respect, senator, the words you spoke are disturbing – especially coming out of your mouth – is very disturbing,’ Illinois’ secretary of state responded. ‘But what I would also tell you that we’re not advocating for kids to read porn.’
‘We are advocating for parents, random parents not to have the ability – under the guise of keeping kids safe – to try and challenge the world view of every single manner on these issues,’ he added.
Rather than allow librarians to decide what books children can read, Giannoulias insisted he wants to make sure ‘individual parents are [not] 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,’ he added.
‘Well, I think you ought to think about it a little bit more before you come here,’ Kennedy shot back. ‘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.’
The viral moment comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, currently polling No. 2 in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, also battles with schools in the Sunshine State to keep such graphic books off shelves.
Iowa schools are also reviewing hundreds of book that were flagged for including sex act depictions.
Kennedy sought to prove on Tuesday that the books being kept out of the hands of children are disturbing and include mature content that parents should have a say in determining if their children can access it.
‘Let’s take two books that have been much discussed,’ the Republican senator said, addressing Giannoulias.
He read verbatim from the book All Boys Aren’t Blue:
‘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 also read from 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’re going to look so hot. I can’t wait to have your c**k in my mouth. I’m going to give you the b****w**b of your life, then I want you inside of me.’