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Moms for Liberty Rocked by Florida Sex Scandal as Group’s Power Declines

Moms for Liberty, a right-wing advocacy group that was founded in Florida initially in response to Covid-19 school closures and mask mandates, has faced criticism for taking stances perceived as anti-L.G.B.T.Q. One of the group’s founders, Bridget Ziegler, faced pressure to resign from the Sarasota County School Board after her husband, who is under investigation for sexual assault, was accused of having a consensual sexual encounter with another woman. Ziegler’s scandal has led to questions about the future of the group’s influence and relevance in Republican politics.

Moms for Liberty claimed 300 chapters in 48 states and about 130,000 members, and endorsed 198 school board candidates in contested races in 2023, 60% of whom were defeated. The group’s power and influence seem to be fading, as education issues became less prominent in the Republican party since schools reopened from closures during the pandemic.

The group has also faced various incidents that transformed its image and alienated it from the voters it claimed to represent. Endorsements for local school boards turned nonpartisan races into political ones, and in Florida, the group aligned itself with governor Ron DeSantis and campaigned for conservative candidates for local school boards.

Moms for Liberty fights to restore parental control over their children’s education and push for policies banning books it deems pornographic, curtails the teaching of L.G.B.T.Q. issues, and polices how race is taught in schools. However, the group’s focus on culture-war issues has faced pushback from voters. The conservative views on education once championed by the group may be falling out of favor with the public.

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