Madison Public Library cancels Moms For Liberty event due to potential overcrowding

WAFF 48's D'Quan Lee reporting
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 11:22 PM CDT
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MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - A controversy is brewing in Madison. The Madison Public Library announced Wednesday it didn’t have the space to hold an expected 300-person crowd at a Moms for Liberty event. Organizers and the library originally expected about 20 attendees but that number has since ballooned to almost 300 people, and the public venue can’t accommodate that.

Some on social media celebrated the cancellation, but chapter president Emily Jones says they’re not taking no for an answer.

“Canceling the event is considered a First Amendment violation based on religious liberties,” Jones said.

The Library states it consulted with the city Fire Marshal and Police Department before making the decision.

Jones says she’s aware of the organization’s reputation, even expecting protests as they continue to push for the Saturday event. She says the group fights for parent’s rights to know what their kids are taught in schools, pointing to schools teaching kids about sexual orientation and sexual education as an overstep in boundaries.

“If you’re teaching your child to follow Christian values, and remain abstinent, then the school was violating your religious rights by teaching that,” she says.

However, Dr. Maya Henson Carey with the Southern Poverty Law Center says the organization’s actions go beyond that.

“We’ve also seen them lobby for legislation against inclusive education. So what they consider to be critical race theory, LGBTQ acceptance, so gender identity, gender affirming care,” Dr. Carey said. “We’ve also seen them calling for the abolition of the Department of Education at the federal level.”

Because of that, the SPLC has labeled Moms For Liberty an extremist group for it’s opposition to inclusive school curriculums. Jones dismisses the label and will continue to host events, like Thursday meeting’s with State Representative Parker Moore.

“We educate by hosting different events. Today, we’ve got Parker Moore speaking with us, educating us on what happened in legislative session and what’s to come,” she said.

There was already a planned protest for the August 5th event until the library announced its cancellation. For now, only time will tell if the organization will find a new location.

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