Sen. Kennedy reads graphic excerpts of novels during discussion on book bans in Senate Committee

La. U.S. Senator John Kennedy read some pretty graphic sexual language from certain books during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana U.S. Senator John Kennedy read some pretty graphic sexual language from certain books during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on ‘Book Bans: Examining How Censorship Limits Liberty and Literature.”

The senators are looking at what should be available to young people in libraries across the country. Many were surprised to hear such language in a book available to young people, but some say this is more about censorship as Louisiana has several fights about book content going on right now.

A warning, as some of the words below are graphic.

“I put some lube on, and I got him on his knees,” said Sen. Kennedy (R), Louisiana.

Sen. Kennedy was reading an excerpt from the book, ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue,’ on the committee floor earlier this week. The book’s very graphic words would perhaps be heard on the street, and there is also talk of oral sex but it is graphically described.

“And I began to slide into him from behind,” said Sen. Kennedy.

The author of the New York Times Best Selling Book is LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson.

The book explores Johnson’s childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia.

The senator also read parts from the novel ‘Gender Queer,’ which includes talk of sex toys, to members of the audience and those testifying before lawmakers.

“I got a new strap-on harness today, I can’t wait to put it on you,” Sen. Kennedy read to the committee.

Both books are on Pen America’s index list of banned books.

“Should it be just up to the librarian or should parents have a say,” questioned Sen. Kennedy.

“There should be collaboration between parents and students,” said the witness.

“Should parents have a say,” questioned Sen. Kennedy.

It comes as book content could perhaps be the new culture war raging across cities and states across the country.

“Having that level of sexual involvement is a dangerous lifestyle, that no one, especially teenagers, should be involved in, especially until they’re mature enough to understand what they’re up to,” said Michael Lunsford with Citizens for a New Louisiana.

“I definitely would not give ‘Gender Queer’ to my 5-year-old, I wouldn’t have obviously but you know, to say that you can’t have it in the library at all, to me is ridiculous, that’s censorship,” said Lynette Mejía with Louisiana Citizens Against Censorship.

Louisiana Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards signed a bill after this year’s legislative session that limits children’s access to certain library materials and requires libraries to create a card system so parents can prevent their children from checking out books deemed inappropriate.

“Really from our point of view, it’s a solution in search of a problem. There really is no pornography in Louisiana libraries, there never has been,” said Mejía.

“This battle is not going away, we’re seeing it flare up nationwide,” said Lunsford.

The publisher of one of the books Senator Kennedy read gave WAFB a statement:

“We celebrate authors like Mike Curato (Flamer) and George M. Johnson (All Boys Aren’t Blue) who bravely and brilliantly share their stories and positively impact the lives of countless readers, despite their books being among the most banned of 2022 as highlighted by the American Library Association on its Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022 list.”

- Jon Yaged, CEO of Macmillan Publishers

To watch Senator Kennedy’s full remarks click here.

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