For all of their (momentary) success oppressing the LGBT community, Anita Bryant and Ron DeSantis had help.
In Bryant’s case, Jerry Falwell brought his Christian fundamentalist followers out in droves to support Save the Children. Bryant’s husband, disc jockey Bob Green, helped, too.
DeSantis has relied on a different crowd for support: Moms for Liberty doesn’t call themselves anti-LGBT, per se.
But everyone knows better.
Their agenda includes supporting book bans, bashing trans people, and calling for “special needs” LGBT students to be educated in “special classes” – all in the name of protecting the children.
“They say they’re fighting for children and parents, but really they’re using fearmongering to scare people and push their agenda of undermining education and stripping LGBT people of basic rights,” said Olivia Little, senior investigative researcher of media watchdog group Media Matters.
“'Hijacking' school board meetings — where they can impose their opinions upon unsuspecting parents — is one of the organization’s tactics,” Little said. “They also hold a yearly summit where they give seminars detailing the amount of voters they’ve influenced by attacking the LGBT community. This year, DeSantis was their keynote speaker."
In fact, DeSantis recently named Tina Descovich, a co-founder of Moms, to the Florida Commission on Ethics.
“We have right wing connections all over with Mom’s for Liberty, and then we go from there,” Little said. “Their book banning efforts, their speeches and conferences — all of it has tied together to create a culture of hatred and fear ... It’s an unsafe environment right now for LGBT students and people because of it.”