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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoes PBS funding over 'indoctrination and sexualization of our children'

Drag Queen Lil Miss Hot Mess reads the book, 'The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish.'
Drag Queen Lil Miss Hot Mess reads the book, "The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish." | YouTube/WNET Education

The governor of Oklahoma has vetoed a bill that would provide funding for the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, citing concerns about programming that engages in “indoctrination and over-sexualization of our children.” 

On April 26, Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed House Bill 2820, which would have extended funding for the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority through 2026. The measure received bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled state Senate as well as the Republican-controlled Oklahoma House of Representatives, with all but seven members of the Senate supporting the legislation while no members of the House opposed it. All seven members of the Senate who voted against continued funding for the OETA were Republicans. 

Two-thirds majorities in both chambers are required to override Stitt’s veto. The measure received the support of more than two-thirds of legislators in both the Senate and the House, suggesting that an override is possible. 

Stitt detailed his concerns about continued funding for the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, which is the Oklahoma affiliate of PBS, partly funded by taxpayers, in an interview with Fox News Digital.

“When you go through all of the programming that’s happening, indoctrination and oversexualization of our children, it’s just really problematic and it doesn’t line up with Oklahoma values,” he said.

“Some of the programming that we’re seeing on OETA is The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, parents defend child transitions,” he added. “It just doesn’t need to be on public television and when you add the fact that Oklahoma tax dollars are funding that, that’s where the Oklahoma taxpayers are going ‘Hey, hang on, time out for just a second, that’s not my values.’”

As noted in an op-ed piece published in The Christian Post earlier this year, PBS featured a drag queen who goes by the name Lil Miss Hot Mess reading the book he wrote, titled The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish in a 2021 segment of the “Let’s Learn” TV series marketed at young children. Additional examples of the inclusion of LGBT ideology in recent PBS programming include same-sex weddings on “The Odd Squad” and “Arthur.” Like “Let’s Learn,” the target audience for “The Odd Squad” and “Arthur” is young children. 

Stitt’s effort to defund OETA comes as Citizens Defending Freedom, a national nonprofit organization, is calling on the federal government to strip taxpayer funding from PBS. As the organization explained, PBS has compiled a curriculum for schoolteachers, which includes a digital toolkit devoted to “Understanding LGBTQ+ Identity.” 

A screenshot from the toolkit reveals that its purpose is to “integrate LGBTQ+ history and narratives into U.S. History and English classrooms.” Citizens Defending Freedom is also expressing concern about the inclusion of a video called “All Oppression is Connected” in a “professional development guide” for teachers.

The video claims: “If you line up all the people who are against the black people, and all the people who are against the gay people, and all the people who are against poor women or abortion, chances are they’re related to each other, they know each other, and so therefore, it’s the same enemy.”

CDF Chief Communications Officer Kristin Huber addressed the rationale behind the call to defund PBS at the federal level in a statement

“PBS is clearly engaged in promoting inappropriate LGBTQ+ and Critical Race Theory propaganda to our children. Their ‘LGBTQ+Identity Kit is clearly a partisan effort to brainwash teachers and students, sowing seeds of division and hatred in an environment that should seek to protect our children, not use them as political pawns. We’re calling on the federal government to immediately strip PBS of its funding. American taxpayers should not be forced to fund questionable curriculum for our children.”

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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