Southern Poverty Law Center designates Moms For Liberty as ‘extremist’ group
Moms for Liberty sets sights on 'pornography' in school libraries. Image via Facebook.

Conservatives say the designation reveals more about the watchdog group's political agenda.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has classified Moms for Liberty as an extremist group.

Moms for Liberty, which was founded in Brevard County, boasts close ties to Gov. Ron DeSantis, a candidate for President.

But conservatives in Florida immediately balked at the classification and said it shows more about the SPLC’s politics.

The SPLC for the first time included the political group in its “extremist files.” Notably, the watchdog organization is best known for tracking the activities of designated hate groups, and has not put that moniker on Moms for Liberty. The new designation, though, signals the SPLC wants to keep an eye on the rhetoric and activity of Moms for Liberty, which it lists as an “antigovernment organization.”

“Moms for Liberty and its nationwide chapters combat what they consider the ‘woke indoctrination’ of children by advocating for book bans in school libraries and endorsing candidates for public office that align with the group’s views,” the new file on Moms for Liberty reads.

“They also use their multiple social media platforms to target teachers and school officials, advocate for the abolition of the Department of Education, advance a conspiracy propaganda, and spread hateful imagery and rhetoric against the LGBTQ community.”

The file specifically names founders Tiffany Justice, Tina Descovich and Bridget Ziegler, the latter of whom no longer is an official part of the organization but maintains close ties.

Moms for Liberty blasted the designation and released a statement suggesting the move was politically motivated.

“Last year the (Joe) Biden White House worked with the (National School Boards Association) to label Parents Domestic Terrorists,” reads a statement on social media. “Today, the SPLC labels our organization — an organization full of moms who care about their kids — a Hate Group. This is a coordinated attempt to silence and suppress us. We see it and we are not going to backdown.”

The group encouraged supporters to donate in response to the designation.

The fairly young organization, founded in 2021, has emerged as one of the most controversial and influential voices in Florida politics and beyond. The group is hosting a summit later this month in Philadelphia, where Republican presidential candidates DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Donald Trump are all slated to speak.

But the SPLC said rhetoric calling the National Teachers Union a “K-12 Cartel” and saying transgender students suffer from a mental health disorder warrants notice.

“Moms for Liberty was originally established to combat what it considered controversial COVID-19 safety measures in schools, mostly centered around masking,” the SPLC file reads.

“From there, it quickly expanded its focus to include an extreme stance on what it considers the indoctrination and sexualization of children through gender identity, the acknowledgment and acceptance of the LGBTQ community, as well as inclusive school pedagogy and curricula, including critical race theory, social emotional learning, and books that the organization deems inappropriate.”

The rapid spread of the group’s influence raises particular concern, according to the SPLC.

But Republican leaders slammed the designation.

“This plagued left-wing organization’s leadership tells you a lot about them. Even (its) founder was fired in disgrace. And they have the gall to attack Moms For Liberty for protecting their kids,” tweeted Helen Aguirre Ferré, executive director of the Republican Party of Florida, referencing the firing of co-founder Morris Dees for misconduct in 2019.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Eduardo Slaveen Dot Com 👍

    June 7, 2023 at 11:19 am

    It’s also a far right group, hate group, and supports terrorists. The Tea Party has also evolved in similar fashion. You know the Nazis did similar things in the beginning, twisting and bending the meaning of laws and the constitution to erode democracy and push a far right agenda. Too bad we have history books and wise to such tactics so it’s not gonna happen again. Too bad for them too having no insight into what they are involved in. Conservative spray tan bimbos and semi-blue hairs with nothing to do apparently.

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      June 7, 2023 at 11:48 am

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  • George J Kamburoff

    June 7, 2023 at 11:32 am

    Keep your hateful religions and superstitions out of our schools!

    • Richard Bruce

      June 7, 2023 at 11:52 am

      Those with acceptable religions and superstitions can pay for the schools. Stop taxing the unwanted parents.

  • Moms Against Moms For Liberty [M'AM]

    June 7, 2023 at 11:38 am

    I think it’s time to send more elephant doodoo to Tina Descovich’s house again.

  • Richard Bruce

    June 7, 2023 at 11:38 am

    100% tax credits for any choice a parent can make to educate their child(ren) is the best option stop unwanted forced Gov’t influence. Existing Gov’t schools can compete for attendance.

    • Michael K

      June 7, 2023 at 12:43 pm

      Public institutions are open and accept everyone, without exception. Private religious schools are exclusionary, and unaccountable.

      By your logic, lets have a private police force or fire department “compete” — that can exclude serving certain areas, without exception.

    • Rob Desantos

      June 7, 2023 at 12:45 pm

      Are you having a seizure, Richard? Oh wait, that’s just how you always post, Florida boomer-style.

      Feel free to move into the ocean where there are no taxes or scary “gov’t influence.”

    • PeterH

      June 7, 2023 at 2:24 pm

      I have no children yet I’ve been paying education taxes for the past sixty years.

      Can I also get a 100% tax rebate?

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 7, 2023 at 11:57 am

    What does the GOP have to gain by saying trans drag queens are the new devil? Black votes. Duh. GOP is trying to distract from their racism that loses them elections, and their strategy is to create new demons, trans drag queens, to replace black folk as what’s so scary that you better vote GOP or they’ll get your kids. And the Moms For Liberty are falling for it. Hopefully at least one MFL will read this and realize she got manipulated and that nobody’s really coming for her kids. It’s just the GOP coming for her vote.

  • Michael K

    June 7, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Moms is a “grass tops” organization fed by rich right-wing republican donors that use children as an excuse to spread hate, lies, and discrimination. Their MO is to over run school boards, ban books and destroy pubic education. No wonder Florida’s governor loves them.

  • Rob Desantos

    June 7, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    They should go all the way and call them a terrorist group, since that’s certainly what Tiffany, Tina, and Bridget are.

  • Stop The DeSantards

    June 7, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    Tina Descovich is nuttier than a squirrel turd. M4L only exists because she lost to a Democrat and is a big whiny baby (sound familiar?) and her husband Chris Ziegler is Vice Chair of the FL Repugnants. Hmm…wonder how the group took off so fast?

    • Rob Desantos

      June 7, 2023 at 5:09 pm

      To be fair, Tina’s husband is an old man named Derek Descovich, while Bridget is the benefactor of her marriage to Ron’s crony Christian Ziegler. They are both completely insane, while Tiffany Justice appears to be primarily stupid.

  • PeterH

    June 7, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    Like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys ….. the “Mom’s for Liberty” coined their group’s name and slogan to make them sound wholesome and patriotic. Like the American terrorist organizations cited above Mom’s For Liberty espouses hate, disenfranchisement, and subliminal racism to influence and promote a culture of targeted bullying and intimidation to those they view as vulnerable. It should not come as no surprise that this group has an umbilical cord to the resources and support of today’s Republican Party establishment.

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!

    Vote all Republicans out of office.

  • newsronic

    June 8, 2023 at 7:39 am

    Since Tiffany, Tina, and Bridget are unquestionably members of a terrorist organization, they ought to go as far as to label them as such.

  • Flori-Duh

    June 8, 2023 at 1:24 pm

    When Conservatives talk about “Freedom” and “Liberty” what they really mean is:
    They want to freedom and liberty to be bigots
    The freedom and liberty to force their religion down everybody else’s throat
    The freedom and liberty to dumb garbage into the environment
    The freedom and liberty to take advantage of less privileged people

  • God isn't real. So stop worrying and enjoy your ONE life.

    June 8, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    The best thing I ever did was decide to raise my kids as kind and loving atheists.

Comments are closed.


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