A #ProtectTheChildren rally is being hosted this Saturday on Fort Lauderdale Beach, a gathering of conservative groups including Moms for Liberty and Gays Against Groomers.
The rally is scheduled for Dec. 3 at Las Olas Boulevard and A1A. According to the event flier, they are protesting against “radicalized sexual curriculum, gender ideology, child grooming, parental alienation, and ‘gender-affirming care’.”
“This Saturday we say NO,” Florida Fathers for Freedom tweeted.
Speakers at the event will be Conservative Ant and Jordan Toste of Gays Against Groomers, Elon Gerberg of Florida Fathers for Freedom, Eulalia Jimenez from Moms for Liberty Miami, and more.
However, a counter-rally is planned at the same time and location by LGBT activists, who are encouraging the public to come with signs and flags to “protest conservative groups spewing bigotry.”
Much of the qualms addressed by conservative groups involve the treatment of children for gender dysphoria, with claims that the LGBTQ equality movement is in favor of “mutilating” and “sexualizing” children. This summer, the Florida Board of Medicine voted to follow the state’s Department of Health petition to delay any treatment for gender dysphoria and for adults seeking to transition to have a 24-hour waiting period. And with the passage of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which has gained the nickname “Don’t Say Gay,” parents are concerned about what is being taught in schools and also not being notified if their child comes out to a teacher or asks to use different pronouns.
The #ProtectTheChildren movement is not new — QAnon started using the #SaveOurChildren hashtag as a part of its belief that an underground ring of Hollywood celebrities traffick children. During what was known as “Pizzagate” in 2016, rumors spread that Hillary Clinton and other high-ranking Democratic leaders were a part of a human trafficking ring inside a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C., leading a man to drive from North Carolina and shoot into the pizzeria.
But even those slogans from almost 10 years ago are not new when it comes to LGBT people. In the 1970s, Anita Bryant led the “Save Our Children” campaign in Miami-Dade County to not allow gay people to become teachers because of their “hair-raising pattern of recruitment and outright seduction and molestation.”