Moms for Liberty Emerges as a Significant Force in Republican Politics by Opposing Schools on Gender and Race Issues

by Sophia Chen
Moms for Liberty

“Moms for Liberty”, to its adherents, is a grassroots network of “joyful warriors” who reject governmental interference in parenting. However, to critics studying hate movements, it is an extremist group that combats diversity and inclusion in schools.

In the upcoming battle for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, this group is considered a potential key ally. Although the Florida-based nonprofit advocating for “parental rights” in education was non-existent during the last presidential race, it has swiftly emerged as a critical contender for 2024, powered by GOP strategists, politicians, and donors.

This group, leading the conservative movement against books discussing race and gender identity, and promoting right-wing candidates for local school boards nationwide, is planning to host a significant convention for Republican presidential primary contenders. Four speakers have been confirmed for the Moms for Liberty annual summit in Philadelphia later this month, including former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and biotech entrepreneur and “anti-woke” activist Vivek Ramaswamy.

Discussions are underway to invite other prominent figures to the conference, such as Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democrat known for promoting anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.

The considerable attention drawn to this event indicates how the Republican voter base now considers debates around gender and race as core issues. It also highlights Republicans’ readiness to endorse a group that has received criticism for spreading anti-LGBTQ+ ideologies and removing diverse resources from libraries and classrooms.

Founded in 2021 by Tiffany Justice, Tina Descovich, and Bridget Ziegler, current and former school board members in Florida, the organization has expanded significantly within two years. It has 285 chapters across 44 states and boasts 120,000 active members.

The group has broadened its local school district activism to oppose books it deems inappropriate or “anti-American”, ban teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity, compel teachers to reveal students’ pronouns to parents, and eliminate diversity, equity, and inclusion programs from schools.

While Moms for Liberty describes itself as a nonpartisan, grassroots initiative launched by enthusiastic parents who identify as “joyful warriors”, the organization’s strong connections to Republican entities, donors, and politicians cast doubts over its nonpartisan and grassroots claims.

Despite being a 501(c)4 nonprofit, which isn’t obligated to disclose its donors, there are signs of influential Republicans supporting the organization’s rise. For example, the sponsors of its summit include conservative organizations like the Leadership Institute and the Heritage Foundation, and a far-right Christian cellphone company, Patriot Mobile, which has invested significantly to gain control over Texas school boards.

Justice, a co-founder of the group, argues that its cooperation with conservative organizations and DeSantis reveals their shared interest, but it doesn’t negate the group’s grassroots nature.

Despite Moms for Liberty’s association with mainstream Republicans, researchers suggest that its activism forms part of a broader trend of far-right efforts opposing student inclusion nationwide.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate and extremism nationwide, recently identified Moms for Liberty as an “anti-government extremist” group. They argue that this group, along with 11 others, exploits parental rights to undermine public education and render schools less inclusive for minority and LGBTQ+ students.

Justice, however, denies that Moms for Liberty’s activities are extremist, asserting that the organization’s funding and endorsement of school board races indicate that it is not anti-government. She added that members and leaders of the organization include gay individuals, emphasizing its inclusivity.

In response to the growing opposition from organizations that advocate for educational inclusivity, Moms for Liberty has stated that it will enhance security for its meeting. Notably, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s designation as an “extremist” group has not deterred any Republican candidate from speaking at the event.

In the current political climate, some believe the “extremist” label is almost seen as a mark of distinction within the GOP, which Moms for Liberty seems to be leveraging in its fundraising efforts.

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ParentalRights4Life June 12, 2023 - 4:06 pm

Finally, a group thats actually standing up for parental rights in education. Keep up the good work!

Mike12 June 12, 2023 - 4:56 pm

Wow, had no idea Moms for Liberty got so big, that’s a lotta chapters across the states!

Tim_in_Texas June 12, 2023 - 5:03 pm

Sounds like GOP found a powerful new ally, wonder how this will shape 2024 election.

AllisonP June 12, 2023 - 7:34 pm

This group’s activism scares me. It’s not about ‘parental rights’, it’s about suppressing inclusivity and promoting hate.

ConservativeDad June 12, 2023 - 11:38 pm

they’ve got my vote, kids these days are being taught too much unnecessary stuff.

MelissaTurner June 12, 2023 - 11:47 pm

can’t believe these people would go so far to stop kids from learning about diversity. what are they afraid of?

LibertyLady June 13, 2023 - 1:51 am

Why are they tagged as extremists just cause they want parents to have a say? doesn’t seem fair to me.

Jonas_K June 13, 2023 - 7:59 am

Its like everyone’s ignoring how connected they are to big GOP names. Hardly grassroots if you ask me.

EducationFirst June 13, 2023 - 9:20 am

Removing diverse resources from classrooms? this sounds more like censorship than education.


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