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Moms for Liberty
- Updated: April 21, 2023
Moms For Liberty was founded in January 2021 claiming it will “organize, educate and empower parents to defend their parental rights.” This advocacy has included calls for book bans, classroom censorship and bans on teaching about slavery, race, racism and LGBTQ people and history. (Pictured above from left to right: Tiffany Justice, Tina Descovich, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Marie Rogerson.)
Moms for Liberty claims to be a grassroots organization, but its founders and founding chapter have strong ties to high-ranking elected officials and national anti-LGBTQ groups including the Heritage Foundation. It claims to have 135 chapters in 35 states.
Funding and political support:
—Founded by Bridget Ziegler, a candidate for Sarasota County school board, who is married to County Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Florida, Christian Ziegler, who attended the rally that preceded the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Bridget Ziegler’s school board candidacy has been endorsed by anti-LGBTQ Governor DeSantis, and she appeared with DeSantis as he signed the “Don’t Say LGBTQ” bill into law, at a private school that would not be subject to the law.
—Other founders, former school board members Tina Descovich of Brevard County and Tiffany Justice of Indian River County, have amplified false claims against evidence-based healthcare for trans youth, and harmful “groomer” rhetoric. Descovich has spread misinformation about trans youth.
—Moms for Liberty’s Executive Director of Program Development, Marie Rogerson, is a campaign consultant who previously worked for Rep. Randy Fine, who has widely spread anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and supported anti-LGBTQ bills including the “Don’t Say LGBTQ” law, and pushed for bans on lifesaving, evidence-based healthcare for transgender youth.
Moms for Liberty’s efforts include:
—Hosting at its first national summit Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has instigated and signed into law anti-LGBTQ policies; former Governor and current Senator Rick Scott; and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The summit also hosted anti-LGBTQ activist groups like Turning Point USA, the Leadership Institute and Heritage Action, and the evangelical Liberty University.
—Falsely claiming it stands “against government overreach and intimidation tactics,” while attempting to ban books about Martin Luther King Jr., Ruby Bridges, and Black and queer memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue. Supporters including Florida state representative Randy Fine posted a school board member’s cell phone number on Facebook. A school board member who defeated one of the founders of Moms for Liberty says opponents filed a false claim of child abuse against her, and protestors shouted at her five year old child outside her home.
—School board member details how Moms for Liberty targeted county guidelines to protect students’ right to dress and use bathrooms according to the gender they identify with, falsely calling school board members “pedophiles.”
—Founder Tiffany Justice supports Florida “Don’t Say Gay/Trans” censorship law, falsely and disingenuously claiming “nothing about the bill says anything about gay or straight.” Text of the bill shows it prohibits discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity. Justice also fails to provide evidence to support her claims of “indoctrination” in schools, and defames those who support children being able to discuss their LGBTQ family or identities as “groomers.”
—Offers bounties to encourage people to report on teachers who discuss so-called “divisive concepts” including discrimination based on sex or race.
—Spreads inaccurate and inflammatory claims about LGBTQ books, including the memoir of Black and queer author George M. Johnson All Boys Aren’t Blue, for so-called “racially charged commentary” and “alternate gender ideologies” as well as sexually explicit passages, alcohol and drug use, and profanity. Johnson’s book was named a 2020 Best Book of the Year by Amazon, the New York and Chicago public libraries and Kirkus Reviews.
—A Moms for Liberty chapter in Brevard County, Florida, is chaired by a business owner known for refusing to serve same-sex couples.
—A Texas Moms for Liberty chapter announced it would host anti-LGBTQ activist Kelly Neidert at its July 25 meeting. Neidert is well-known in the greater Dallas area for harassing local LGBTQ events including story hours for children, protesting outside of a medical center that treats transgender patients, and being permanently suspended from Twitter for tweeting “Let’s start rounding up people who participate in Pride events” in addition to repeated misgendering and anti-trans rhetoric. Neidert’s targeting of transgender people led more than 21,000 people to sign a petition created by her fellow students at the University of North Texas calling for her expulsion from the school.
—A Tennessee Moms For Liberty chapter shared video of a school Pride club Homecoming float. Local community members said the video outed some students and put their safety at risk. Moms for Liberty claimed the float featured “two girls kissing” and “groping,” and accused the group of “encouraging bisexuality” by handing out National Bi Week awareness flyers. Moms for Liberty also criticized the school district for asking middle and high school students for their pronouns and falsely claimed of LGBTQ-inclusive clubs: “Our schools are on a slippery slope in the sexualization of children.”
—Tweeted “gender identity indoctrination” is one of the most dangerous threats facing children in America today. The CDC reported that one in four LGBTQ teens attempted suicide in 2021, with half of LGBTQ teens considering suicide. Research shows adults using a trans youth’s authentic name and pronouns improves mental health and reduces suicidal ideation. 36% of LGBTQ youth reported being physically threated or harmed due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
—Pushed for bans on discussions of racism and LGBTQ content in schools.
The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.
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