SPLC Says Moms for Liberty Is an Extremist Group

Center blasts 'so-called parental rights activists' in annual report
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2023 1:44 PM CDT
SPLC Says Moms for Liberty Is an Extremist Group
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is presented with the "Liberty Sword" during the Moms for Liberty National Summit on July 15 in Tampa, Florida.   (Lauren Witte/Tampa Bay Times via AP, File)

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Moms for Liberty as an "anti-government extremist group," along with multiple other organizations that bill themselves as "parents' rights" groups. The SPLC, which tracks hate and extremist groups nationwide, says it used long-standing criteria to designate the groups as extremist in its annual report. The SPLC says Moms for Liberty and other groups popped up during the pandemic and soon turned from opposing mask mandates and other restrictions to fighting "inclusive curriculum, LGBTQ rights, and what they see as inappropriate reading material in classrooms and libraries."

The SPLC compares the groups to those that opposed desegregation in the civil rights era. "Today's so-called parental rights activists have also copied and pasted from the scripts of past groups, adapting old racist and homophobic ideas, as well as conspiracy theories asserting Marxist indoctrination," the report states. "They are now adding a dash of QAnon rhetoric, accusing progressives of attempting to groom and sexualize children." Members of Moms for Liberty, the SPLC says, have been "intimidating and harassing teachers and school officials" and battling with teachers unions. Moms for Liberty was founded in Florida in 2021 and says it's now active in 45 states.

The movement is "primarily aimed at not wanting to include our hard history, topics of racism, and a very strong push against teaching anything having to do with LGBTQ topics in schools," SPLC Intelligence Project Director Susan Corke tells USA Today. In a statement to Fox News, Moms for Liberty co-founders Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich rejected the SPLC's designation and said the "name-calling" shows "what this battle is all about: Who fundamentally gets to decide what is taught to our kids in school—parents or government employees?" (More Moms for Liberty stories.)

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