July 2, 2023 | The Daily Beast

Moms for Liberty rejects SPLC’s ‘extremist’ designation during summit engulfed in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric

Five Republican presidential hopefuls, including Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former President Donald Trump, spoke at a recent Moms for Liberty summit and commented on the group’s recent ‘extremist’ designation by the Southern Poverty Law Center. ISD Senior Research Manager Jared Holt wrote an op-ed for the Daily Beast talking about the summit’s attendees, speakers and the focus on anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric during the conference.

“The group (Moms for Liberty) claims to fight for ‘parental rights at all levels of government,’ but it’s better known for what it opposes: COVID-19 health precautions, the contents of school libraries, and educational curricula that feature lessons about race, sexuality, and gender. Moms for Liberty has ridden its successes into statehouses across the country where it hopes to help push anti-LGBTQ bills into law,” he explained.

Jared goes on to mention how the recent designation of Moms for Liberty as an ‘extremist group’ by the SPLC last month was “rejected by the groups as a ‘political hit job’ and frowned upon by many of the group’s conservative media allies. For many speakers, including presidential candidates, that extremist group designation was acknowledged via a punchline.”

He goes on to highlight some of the speakers’ far-right nods during the conference on 29 June: “One featured speaker was KrisAnne Hall, who has espoused far-right rhetoric and affiliated with less-debatable extremist groups like the anti-government Oath Keepers and neo-Confederate League of the South. Others include James Lindsay, an anti-LGBTQ social media performer who has described the Pride flag as that ‘of a hostile enemy’ and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, an unabashed Christian nationalist who has declared the transgender rights movement ‘demonic’ and ‘full of the Antichrist spirit.’”

“The incendiary rhetoric directed toward LGBTQ people and their advocates on stage was certainly hateful, but it also serves to justify a host of behaviors and policies that don’t actually help parents or their children. It also works to cast Republicans’ political opponents not just as people who disagree but as immoral villains who must be defeated by any means necessary, let alone compromised with.”

Jared was also featured at the New Abnormal podcast, by the Daily Beast, talking about who Moms for Liberty are, who attended their annual summit in Philadelphia and what was said there.

The full op-ed is available on the Daily Beast and the podcast episode is available on the New Abnormal podcast.