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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Lopez

Senate Hearing Stirs Controversy as Kennedy Reads Explicit Passages from LGBTQ Childrens Book

During a recent Senate hearing, Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana,

caused discomfort to Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias by reading excerpts

from LGBTQ and sexually-themed childrens books. The hearing, held by the Senate

Judiciary Committee, aimed to discuss book bans and censorship in various U.S.

states, particularly books that conservative parents have sought to remove from public

schools and libraries to protect children from explicit content.

Giannoulias was present as a witness, as he had led efforts in Illinois to prevent parents

from banning books they considered inappropriate for children. One of the bills he

supported sought to withhold government funding from libraries that did not adhere to

the American Library Associations "Library Bill of Rights" which prohibits the removal

or restriction of reading materials due to partisan or personal objections.

To challenge Giannoulias stance against book bans, Senator Kennedy read sexually

explicit passages from two books that had generated controversy across the country:

Addressing the Secretary of State, Senator Kennedy quoted from the book "All Boys

Aren't Blue" which contained graphic sexual content. He then turned to another book,

"Gender Queer" and read another explicit passage. Senator Kennedy questioned

Giannoulias about his intentions, asking if he believed that only librarians should

determine whether these books should be accessible to children.

Giannoulias clarified that he was not advocating for children to read explicit content, to

which Senator Kennedy pressed him for his specific recommendations. Giannoulias

explained that they were advocating for parents not to have unilateral authority to

challenge various perspectives on these issues under the guise of protecting children.

The debate continued, with Senator Kennedy accusing Giannoulias of being overly

abstract in his position, a claim Giannoulias refuted. Senator Kennedy suggested that

Giannoulias needed to articulate his proposals more clearly before presenting them to

the Senate, emphasizing the importance of clarity and brevity in conveying his


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