At this point, making outrageous claims with absolutely no evidence or basis in fact has become part of the Republican brand, and a New Jersey politician is taking a page right out of that playbook.
Republican Jack Ciattarelli, who is running for governor in the Garden State, has claimed that schools are "teaching sodomy to sixth graders" and that if elected he will roll-back LGBTQ-oriented advances in public schools.
Ciattarelli made the comments in a speech last month--at an event held at a gun range, because of course-which can be seen below.
NJ GOP gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli discusses NJ's LGTBQ curriculum youtu.be
In his comments, Ciattarelli made a number of dubious claims about sex education in New Jersey schools.
"I feel lucky [my kids] are in their 20s and I don't have to be dealing with what you're dealing with right now. You won't have to deal with it when I'm governor.."
"[W]e're not teaching gender ID and sexual orientation to kindergarteners. We're not teaching sodomy in sixth grade."
Ciattarelli then pledged to roll back LGBTQ progress.
"And we're going to roll back the LGBTQ curriculum. It goes too far."
New Jersey has recently passed laws mandating that LGBTQ people be included in schools' curricula and their diversity and inclusion efforts, but there is precisely zero evidence that anyone is "teaching sodomy" to sixth graders, or any other students for that matter.
Sodomy is, of course, a common and normal sexual practice engaged in by people of all sexual orientations and genders. But it has historically been cited as a way of equating male homosexual sex with deviancy. Several states still have anti-sodomy laws on the books that were purposefully passed as a means of persecuting--and prosecuting--LGBTQ people.
When questioned about this connection and why he chose to invoke sodomy as offensive, Ciattarelli denied it pertained to LGBTQ people or homophobia.
"[It has] absolutely nothing to do with someone's sexual orientation and the inference that it does is purposefully misleading."
Okay then, sir, whatever you say.
On Twitter, many people were outraged by Ciattarelli's comments.
Ciattarelli, a former member of the New Jersey General Assembly, trails incumbent governor Phil Murphy by 15 points in the most recent polling.