Muckraker: Maryland Moms for Liberty and Republican lawmakers in Annapolis ‘Stay on the offensive’
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ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Moms for Liberty held a Parental Rights Legislation Rally at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis on Thursday, where lawmakers, activists, and parents gathered to cheer legislation meant to help “stop woke indoctrination” as some of the conservative group’s signs read just outside a convening General Assembly.
Baltimore County Republican Delegate Nino Mangione spoke, lamenting the “smut” children have access to in school libraries in the Free State. He described a bill he is sponsoring, HB0025, which would prohibit “sexually explicit content in public school libraries and media centers,” a statewide policy resembling a local one recently enacted by the Carroll County Board of Education unanimously, which prohibits material that unambiguously depicts sex acts visually or textually.
Testifying in support of Mangione’s bill during a late January Ways and Means Committee meeting was Jeff Trimbath, President of the Maryland Family Institute, who explained how the bill is consistent with requirements already in place in Maryland, where county libraries must prevent minors from obtaining obscene material off the internet while using library computers.
Testifying against the bill while wearing a mask was Lee Blinder, Executive Director of Trans Maryland, whose pronouns are they and them, who said the bill was nothing more than a “Thinly veiled effort to impose personal biases on all school age young people in the public school system.”
Mangione, now campaigning for the State Senate seat soon to be vacated by a retiring Chris West, also spotlit a disturbing story reported by Project Baltimore’s Chris Papst, where a juvenile who entered a plea on a second degree rape charge in Harford County was attending Patterson High School in Baltimore City and taking classes there, his criminal record remaining unknown to fellow students and parents at the school. Mangione has since asked for a bill to be written that would, at the very least, require that students and parents be notified when a convicted sex offender becomes part of a school’s student body.
Also speaking was Harford County Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga, who presented a bill she sponsored, HB0047, the Fairness In Girls Sports Act, which would require that high school sports participation and facilities usage be consistent with a student’s biological sex instead of their gender identity, it being the case now that students can join sports teams and use locker rooms based on how they identify.
Just so, in 2022, then Harford County Senator and now County Executive Bob Cassily made headlines when he reported to the Harford Board of Education that one local student suffered “considerable embarrassment and mental anguish” after having been made to change for gym class in front of a member of the opposite sex — a sad outcome made possible by the courts who have determined that sex-segregation of any kind discriminates against those who say their gender identity is different from their born sex (MAB v. Talbot, Grimm v. Gloucester).
Testifying in favor of Szeliga’s bill during a Ways and Means Committee meeting was Paul McHugh, the maverick Johns Hopkins chief of psychiatry who in 1979 ended Hopkins’s practice of offering sex change operations after concluding the practice was “fundamentally cooperating with mental illness.” McHugh said Szeliga’s bill does “no harm to those with gender dysphoria” but ensures “safety and fairness” for girls participating in scholastic athletic competition in Maryland.
Frederick County Republican Delegate April Miller spoke too, naming a few bills she is sponsoring in service of parents, one of which, HB0065, would require school nurses and psychologists to disclose to parents any consultation, diagnosis, or treatment provided to their children while at school, a potential antidote to a nationwide trend where school officials affirm a transitioning student without their parents knowledge. Miller is also sponsoring HB0553, a Parental Bill of Rights, establishing that parents have the fundamental right to direct the education of their children, for the second year in a row.
Carroll County Republican Senator Justin Ready was last to speak, stressing the importance of two parent households in Maryland, especially as it relates to Democrat Governor Wes Moore’s stated goal of reducing persistent poverty in places like Baltimore, there being an obvious and meaningful connection between single parentage and economic hardship. “We see the breakdown in our communities when we don’t have strong two parent families” Ready said. “We need to make policy to promote and inspire parents to stay together.”
Always the happy warrior even when the odds are long, Ready encouraged the attendees to “stay on the offensive” after confirming that people are beginning to see the truth.
Moms for Liberty have exhibited a work-womanlike quality in Maryland since first lobbying locally to give parents the right to choose whether or not their children should be masked at school during the pandemic. The group is now increasingly visible in Annapolis where they hope to influence state wide policy.