National anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Moms for Liberty is rallying in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 28. They are scheduled to stay at a Marriott hotel and host their national summit at the nonprofit Museum of the American Revolution (NBC Philadelphia). Activists are mobilizing to demand that Marriott and the museum refuse to act as accomplices to an organization attacking LGBTQ+ youth across the United States.
• Call the Philadelphia Marriott at 215-625-2900 and demand they not host Moms 4 Liberty, a racist, transphobic hate group.
• Comment on the Museum of the American Revolution IG page and demand they drop Moms 4 Liberty.
• Sign the petitions to demand that the Museum of the American Revolution and Marriott not serve Moms for Liberty.
• Support ACT UP Philly.
Moms for Liberty was founded in Florida in 2021. It now claims 110,000 members in 250 chapters across all but eight states. The organization originally focused on fighting against COVID-19 mitigation policies in local schools before pivoting to fight “critical race theory,” social-emotional learning, and LGBTQ+ inclusion. Members tell themselves that they are defending parental rights against governmental overreach and the “indoctrination” of their children. The organization is one of the leading forces behind book bans and the attempt to systematically exclude transgender students from schools. Moms for Liberty chapters have described teachers’ unions as terrorist organizations, suggested replacing books on Dr. Martin Luther King and Ruby Bridges with one claiming slave owners were the “worst victims of slavery,” and worked closely with far-right Proud Boys paramilitaries (SPLC).
An Indiana chapter of the group recently apologized for publishing a newsletter with a quote by Adolf Hitler: “He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future.” The chapter initially responded to criticism by saying that they included the quote not as an endorsement of Hitler’s beliefs but to put parents on guard against the thinking of their opponents. In other words, their defense was that they were merely suggesting that people supporting trans-inclusive schools, anti-racist education, or teachers’ unions were the same as literal Nazis (MSNBC).
As writer Ja’han Jones puts it:
“But the story won’t be swept under the rug that easily. It’s easy to see why some people might believe Moms for Liberty holds a favorable view of Hitler and his oppressive regime, despite this chapter’s apology. Its members have sought to have the government ban classroom discussions they don’t like — discussions focused on discrimination and historic oppression. It’s an agenda focused on indoctrinating children that does, in fact, echo some efforts imposed by Hitler and his allies” (MSNBC).
Their convention this weekend will feature speakers like “right wing talk show host Dennis Prager, who has purported anti-gay AIDS stigma, North Carolina Lt. Gov Mark Robinson, who has called gay and transgender people ‘filth.’” Attendees of Moms for Liberty’s so-called “Joyous Warriors Summit” are expected to target LGBTQ+ Pride events scheduled at three local libraries (Philadelphia Gay News).
Though over 60% of the Museum of the American Revolution staff signed a petition demanding that the museum not host the Moms for Liberty event, museum CEO R. Scott Stephenson has refused to cancel it (Philadelphia Gay News). In a statement, the museum said that “because fostering understanding within a democratic society is so central to [its] mission, rejecting visitors based on ideology would in fact be antithetical to [its] purpose” (Hyperallergic).
This is absurd. Protesters aren’t demanding that Moms for Liberty members be individually banned from visiting the museum but that an organization fighting to destroy “understanding within a democratic society” not be permitted to rent event space. Rather than a principled defense of open debate, the museum is likely trying to prevent conservative visitors from avoiding the museum were they to cancel the Moms for Liberty event.
Institutions like the Museum of the American Revolution and the Marriott hotel chain must understand that hosting far-right extremists attacking children and teachers across the country has a reputational and financial cost. They need to learn that the revenue lost from refusing to host a hate group is less than the damage they will incur if they allow the hate group to proceed. Contact Marriott and the Museum of the American Revolution to demand they stop supporting hate. Students and youth in the United States do need liberty: liberty to freely express their gender, to investigate the real history of the communities in which they live, and to learn in environments free from the overbearing influence of far-right bigots.
• Moms for Liberty organizes school book bans and promotes discrimination against transgender students.
• They plan to hold their national convention in Philadelphia, holding an event at the Museum of the American Revolution and staying at a Marriott hotel.
• We must pressure corporations and nonprofit institutions to refuse to act as accomplices to hate.