Who are Moms for Liberty?
Conservative political organisation Moms for Liberty advocates against schools mentioning, well, anything inclusive.
Moms for Liberty, which now has branches across 48 states, with over 300 local chapters, focuses on opposing the mention of LGBTQ+ rights, race and ethnicity, critical race theory and discrimination in school curriculums.
Earlier this year, the organisation was categorised as a far-right extremist group by civil rights activists at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Founded in 2021, with a mission to mobilise parents to defend parental rights, Moms for Liberty has faced criticism for pushing an anti-LGBTQ+ agenda.
The group attempts to rid schools of critical theory and LGBTQ+ learning under the guise of “family values”. It does so by infiltrating school boards, launching social media campaigns and generally spreading misinformation about how schools are supposedly “indoctrinating” children to be “woke”, or “grooming” children to be LGBTQ+.
The group has opposed critical race theory and advocated for book bans, stating that children are being indoctrinated instead of educated.
But it has recently faced increased scrutiny, as in December, the group lost members over rape allegations made against the founder’s husband.
Co-founder Bridget Ziegler’s husband, the Florida Republican Party chair Christian Ziegler, was accused of rape and an investigation is underway. Ziegler denies the allegation, and he and his wife have stated that they. had a consensual sex with the alleged victim over a year before the alleged crime occurred.
The accusations have seen members of Moms for Liberty starting to drop out of the controversial organisation as a result of the allegations, citing a difference in values.
It faced further scrutiny after an investigation by The Philadelphia Inquirer found that Phillip Fisher Jr, who had been hired by Moms For Liberty as an outreach leader in Philadelphia, is a convicted child sex offender.
The Republican pastor served three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated sexual abuse involving a 14-year-old boy in 2012.
Despite the group’s bid to prevent what it calls “woke indoctrination”, some schools have had enough of the consistent hate spread by their local Moms for Liberty chapter and are telling them to leave LGBTQ+ youth and their families alone.
Concerned middle school students in Seattle, Washington, have led the way, by sending Moms for Liberty cards decorated with rainbow flags, hearts and peace signs, as well as stickers and colourful marker pens, asking the group to “stop bullying and excluding LGBTQ+ youth and their families”.
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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