Authored by Jannis Falenstern via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
A rally organized to out activism that encourages children to question their gender identity and sexual orientation has inspired fury.
Now, threats of a rage-filled counter-protest have rally organizers requesting law enforcement officers to attend their planned gathering on Dec. 3 at a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Conflict bubbled up after three very different groups organized the Protect the Children rally to display solidarity against policies aimed at sexualizing children, alienating them from their parents, and helping them pursue gender-transition treatment. They plan to gather at Fort Lauderdale Beach on the corner of Las Olas Boulevard at 11 a.m.
Local chapters of Moms for Liberty, Fathers for Freedom, and Gays Against Groomers wanted to come together to peacefully speak against “radicalized sexual curriculum, gender ideology, child grooming, parental alienation, and ‘gender-affirming care,'” said Eulalia Jimenez, president of the Moms for Liberty Miami chapter.
But when Antifa members heard of the gathering, they urged their peers in Twitter posts to “confront this hatred” and “protest against hate.” They referred to Protect the Children rally organizers as “fascists” proliferating “stochastic terrorism,” and spread fliers that read, “We can’t allow this kind of bigotry to go unchecked.”
The term “stochastic terrorism” refers to public demonization through so-called “hate speech,” which some say can be used to incite violence against a person or group.
A flier for the Antifa response urges, “Assert your right to exist! Counter protest against far-right bigotry and stand with the LGBTQ+ community. Bring masks, signs, and rage. Stand against those who aim to erase your existence.”
Jimenez isn’t surprised. Antifa members often disrupt Moms for Liberty gatherings and shout down parents speaking at local school board meetings, she said.
The Protect the Children rally was planned at the beach because it’s a place where people congregate, a “good spot to spread awareness, empower others, and create unity,” Jimenez said.
She hopes the event will be about peace, unity, “empowering others and informing parents and citizens,” she said. “We feel children should have the right to be children.”
The rally isn’t meant to be against other groups.
“It’s not about ugliness and nastiness,” Jimenez said. “And unfortunately, the other side, that’s the way they roll.”
Antifa’s rhetoric harms the gay community, said Anthony Raimondi, a board member of Gays Against Groomers (GAG).
“As an organization, we want to protect the LGBT community in the sense that the community has been hijacked,” Raimondi told The Epoch Times.
Years ago, gay people erroneously were assumed to be pedophiles, he said.
“We have come so far” in dispelling that assumption, he said. But in the current culture, as many gay people and others oppose efforts to block the sexualization of children, “it’s almost like we’ve been set back,” Raimondi said.
On social media, GAG founder Jaimee Michell has described her group as “a coalition of gays against the sexualization, indoctrination, and medicalization of children.”
Gays Against Groomers posted on its Twitter feed that the gay community has “fought for decades to dismantle binary gender stereotypes, just for radicals to build them up again, and butcher and sterilize children who don’t abide by them.”
Michell also has posted on Twitter, “There is no such thing as a trans kid.”
Jimenez understands the frustration. She’s not just the local leader of the conservative group Moms for Liberty. She’s also the mother of a gay daughter. So she values groups like Gays Against Groomers, she says, because they’ve “stood up and said, ‘No! You’re not going to use us.'”
Jimenez respects that they assert, “We choose [whom] to love, but we don’t push anything on the kids.”
She also has compassion for those participating in Antifa activities. Many, she said, are kids who are just being used.
“Many of them don’t even understand what is really going on,” Jimenez said. “They’re just so desperate for love and attention, and they’re going about it the wrong way.
“Others,” she continued, “are just plain—in my opinion—evil and they do not care who they hurt and what they have to do to get what they want.”
Antifa has the right to assemble, says Florida Fathers for Freedom organizer Elon Gerberg. He’s not worried about the group’s so-called “counter-protest,” calling it nothing more than a “distraction.”
The Protect the Children rally is “about coming together to bring attention to this attack on our children,” Gerberg told The Epoch Times. “In my opinion, they are our most precious commodities and our future leaders. If we can’t stand up for them, who can you stand up for?”
In signing the Parental Rights in Education bill in March, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, “put his head on the chopping block for parents and the children of the state,” Gerberg said.
Before it was signed into law, the five-page legislation was debated around the country and was reviled by its opponents, who misleadingly referred to the measure as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”
Despite what opponents said, the bill doesn’t prohibit teachers or students from discussing a child’s questions about sexual orientation or gender identity, and it doesn’t keep them from talking about LGBT loved ones in class.
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