State Rep. Nick Wilson of Kentucky has come a long way from his days on Survivor.

The former reality TV contestant, who appeared on Survivor’s 37th season in 2018 and returned for the 40th season in 2020, was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2022 after running unopposed following the retirement of incumbent Regina Huff.

Since taking office, he’s used his newly-obtained position of power to spew anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry and push for legislation that harms queer people, particularly queer kids.

During his first year in office, 33-year-old Wilson voted in favor of a bill banning gender-affirming care for transgender children as well as the discussion of sexual orientation in schools.

This week, he kicked off his second year in office by embarking on a single-man crusade to decriminalize incest.

On Tuesday, Wilson introduced House Bill 269, which sought to make sex between first cousins OK in the eyes of the law, only to withdraw it less than 24 hours later after he received widespread ridicule.

OK, now for the backstory…

Under current Kentucky law, a person is guilty of incest if they have sex with any person known to be “his or her parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, great-grandparent, great-grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, brother, sister, first cousin, ancestor, or descendent.”

Wilson wanted to remove “first cousin” from the list of familial relationships. Taking it one step further, he also wanted incest to be downgraded from a Class C felony to a Class D felony, “unless it is committed with a person who is less than twelve years of age.”

Evidently, in his mind, cousin’s bumping uglies with one another (provided they are heterosexual and over the age of 12) is far less egregious than two gay people who aren’t related falling in love, or a trans person being treated with dignity by their doctor.

Almost immediately after introducing the bill, Wilson became a laughingstock on social media.

In a two-minute video posted to TikTok, New York public defender Eliza Orlins blasted his “truly insane” proposal and urged Kentuckians to “flood his office” with phone calls.

“Nick Wilson is not only supporting but has introduced a bill that would reclassify incest in the state of Kentucky to not include your own first cousin,” she said. “Kentucky, like so many other places, is facing a lot of issues, and this is Nick’s top legislative priority.”



? original sound – Eliza Orlins

Less than one day after introducing HB 269, Wilson withdrew it. In a post shared on Facebook yesterday, he claimed the whole “first cousins” thing was actually a typo and that he’s fixing it now and plans to reintroduce the bill later.

“During the drafting process, there was an inadvertent change, which struck ‘first cousins’ from the list of relationships included under the incest statute, and I failed to add it back in,” he explained.

He also said that he wants to add groping by a family member to the definition of incest.

“Currently, incest only applies in cases of intercourse. So sexual touching/groping by uncles, stepdads, or anyone with a familial relationship is not included in incest,” he outlined. “My bill makes that kind of sexual contact a Class D Felony unless the victim is under the age of 12, then it increases the penalty to a Class C Felony.”

Wilson said he hopes people will give his bill a fair shot once it has been redrafted, saying it’s imperative that lawmakers combat the of legacy of “familial and cyclical abuse that transcends generations of Kentuckians.”

“I understand that I made a mistake, but I sincerely hope my mistake doesn’t hurt the chances of the corrected version of the bill,” he said. “It is a good bill, and I hope it will get a second chance.”

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