Rayla Campbell, a Republican candidate running to become the next Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, stunned the state's Republican convention last week after she claimed schools are teaching 5-year-old children to have oral sex.
But Campbell could not provide evidence schools are actually teaching 5-year-olds about oral sex, even when pressed by reporters from The Boston Globe.
Instead, she pointed to a bill concerning sex education currently being debated by the Massachusetts state legislature that would create “medically accurate, age-appropriate” sex education programs in schools and include information about sexual orientation and gender identity.
You can hear what Campbell said to the Republican convention crowd in the video below.
"I don’t think it’s nice when they’re telling your 5-year-old that he can [perform oral sex on] another 5-year-old. Do you?”
“Because that’s what’s happening in your schools! If this makes you uncomfortable, it should.”
Campbell's remarks echo other falsehoods currently favored in conservative circles.
In recent months, Republicans across the country have sponsored a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, much of it directed at transgender people.
Debates about what teachers should or should not teach in school have also taken center stage, largely in response to Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill.
Florida’s Republican-sponsored Parental Rights in Education bill, or H.B. 1557, was recently signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The law, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, aims to “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children in a specified manner.”
The law wants to prohibit “a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a specified manner” and authorizes parents to “bring an action against a school district to obtain a declaratory judgment that a school district procedure or practice violates certain provisions of law.”
Campbell's remarks sparked considerable backlash
If elected, Campbell would become the chief elections official of Massachusetts. She would be in charge of the conduct of elections, including the enforcement of qualifying rules, oversight of financial regulation and establishment of Election Day procedures.
And if elected, she would be the latest in a long line of Republican candidates to regurgitate former President Donald Trump's lies that the 2020 general election was stolen.
During her remarks, she promised that she and her team "are going to crush and destroy these rotten devils that call themselves Democrats," calling her candidacy "a battle of good versus evil.”