KY GOP hard at work on crucial issues, like other people’s sex lives | Opinion

For those of you who are concerned about what Senate President Robert Stivers calls Gov. Andy Beshear’s “ultra-liberal, woke” agenda for Kentucky, fear not. Stivers is on it. The Kentucky legislature is ready to tackle the biggest kitchen table, bread and butter issue that has been plaguing ordinary American families for years: other people’s sex lives. While Democrats have wasted their time on non-problems such as our crumbling infrastructure, global warming, underfunded education, and inadequate health care, Republicans have been studying Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill. In case you haven’t heard, this bill protects students in grades 1-3 from learning about what lawmakers call “the gay lifestyle,” a charmingly anachronistic term now that gay people are serving openly in the military, appearing regularly on TV, marrying, and playing professional football. But young children are too innocent to be exposed to such distressing material, even those with gay parents. Or maybe there are no gay parents in Florida or Kentucky until kids reach fourth grade, when some cataclysm turns some straight parents gay. Maybe it’s the dioramas. Look for an anti-diorama bill in the near future. (Throw in science projects, and it’s a sure winner.)

Of course, we know Kentucky’s constitution doesn’t protect women’s right to choose. Daniel Cameron wanted to make sure it officially prohibits this so-called right, but Kentucky voters — the same ones who went 62% for Donald Trump in 2020 — rejected his referendum. This led Cameron to note that the referendum wasn’t binding and that a vote by districts would be more fair than asking actual people, because districts have a deep wisdom denied to actual people, even though people make up those districts. Are you following me? The pre-born with fatal abnormalities are sacred and must be protected while the parents can rack up millions in medical bills because of inadequate insurance, until the baby dies after a week. The mother, on the other hand, who has already been born and has been for some time, has to be on death’s door before she gets any consideration. By the way, there’s something profoundly weird about the term “pre-born.” Once we’re born, are we pre-dead? Do the pre-dead have any rights that need to be protected? Even if they’re women? Who can say.

And since the right to privacy is no longer an actual right (more of a guideline, as the Bill Murray character says in “Ghostbusters”), the Republican legislature just might challenge another “woke” agenda item, interracial marriage. I’d like to see Clarence Thomas’s face when the arguments are made. I’d also like the progressive members of the court to leak a statement saying “Hell, no! Not only is this so-called “right” not protected by the constitution, but according to Leviticus it’s anathema unto God!” And then the next day they could leak another opinion saying “JK.”

And then there’s the second-most important issue of our times: other people’s gender identities. Trans people should certainly not be able to choose what bathrooms they use, because any self-respecting sexual predator would definitely go through the trouble of changing his/her clothes, hair style, undergarments, etc., etc., facing all the resistance and shame such a changes entail, for the opportunity to harass other 5th graders. This possibility definitely concerns me. In my day, non-trans-gender kids were perfectly capable of harassing others pretty much anywhere just by being their (biological) selves. Today’s kids have no backbone! But we all know how important bathroom choice is. I’m sure someone will find a passage in Leviticus that delineates a very strict protocol for bathroom use, even though bathrooms at the time were probably holes in the ground. Hey! The original unisex bathrooms! Don’t tell Leviticus.

And let’s not forget CRT, promoted by “woke” progressives who want to make young children miserable just for the hell of it. CRT is an esoteric legal argument emphasizing the structural components of racism that has become the scourge of pre-schools everywhere. Three year olds (who thankfully don’t yet know about the gay agenda) are coming home in tears because they learned about the way in which redlining has prevented people of color from getting mortgages. These tiny sweethearts are naturally worried that they might be responsible because their ”woke” preschool teacher indoctrinated them, which is what preschool teachers routinely do while trying to keep order among 20 three year olds. (There’s that pesky underfunded education again. Shut up, Democrats!) These children will face decades – decades! – of therapy to undo the trauma, which, thankfully, their parents can afford because they all have high-end health insurance. Right? If only those kids had the easy road of three year olds of color, who just have to understand why people keep shooting their relatives.

With all the declaiming about the Democrats’ “ultra-liberal, woke” agenda I’m starting to think Republicans want us all to go to sleep. Could I be onto something?

Ellen Rosenman is the Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor (Emerita) in the University of Kentucky Department of English.