WATCH: Muslim And Christian Parents Show Up In Force To Protest LGBT Books At Maryland School Board

The protesters chanted, "Not Your Children."
DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 20, 2019: A young girl sits on the floor and reads as her mother shops in a bookstore located in the terminal at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Dozens of Muslim and Christian parents showed up Tuesday at a Maryland school board meeting to protest a new policy that would stop letting parents opt their children out of reading LGBT books in school.

A large and vocal group of parents and other demonstrators protested outside the Montgomery County Public Schools headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, where the school board was preparing to discuss the rule change.

The group of parental rights demonstrators appear to be majority Muslim in video clips from the protest that were posted to social media.

The protesters chanted “Not Your Children,” “Protect Our Children,” and “Religious Freedom Now,” and carried signs reading, “Restore Opt Out,” and “Family Rights.”

The demonstration was organized by the parental rights groups Family Rights for Religious Freedom and Moms for Liberty.

A significantly smaller group of counter-protesters also showed up carrying rainbow LGBT flags. They expressed support for scrapping the parental opt-out option, with one sign reading, “Keep MCPS Free From Hate.”


Security for the school board meeting can be seen on video saying they will allow 30 people from each side of the issue to enter the board meeting.

The parents protesting the rule change can be heard in the video saying they have hundreds of demonstrators, many more than showed up to counter-protest in favor of the rule stripping parents of the option to opt out of LGBT content.

First, 30 parental rights demonstrators entered the school board meeting, and then 30 pro-LGBT content activists entered the building, passing by their opponents who shouted, “Protect our children!” as they passed, according to video footage.

During the board meeting, a former student in the district, a young girl wearing a hijab, addressed the board.

“Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right that protects the conscience of all people. It allows us to think, express, and act upon what we deeply believe,” the girl said. “The issue of gender and sexuality are influenced by our faith, and we should not be caricatured as intolerant.”

“I respectfully request the restoration of the opt-out option at MCPS,” she said.

One Muslim mother spoke in favor of getting rid of the opt-out option, saying that “gender-fluid people have been part of Islamic societies from the beginning.”

Montgomery County Councilmember Kristin Mink also spoke at the school board meeting.

“This issue has unfortunately put some, not all of course, some Muslim families on the same side of an issue as white supremacists, and outright bigots. However, the folks I’ve talked to here today, I would not put in the same category as those folks, although it’s again complicated.”

An audience member called out “False!” at Mink’s comment referencing white supremacists, and several in the audience shook their heads.

Three families are suing the Montgomery County Board of Education and Superintendent Monifa McKnight over getting rid of the opt-out option, claiming their First Amendment rights have been violated.

The lawsuit claims the LGBT children’s books “Pride Puppy” and “Love, Violet” were added to the curriculum.

Also on Tuesday, across the country in Glendale, California, protesters and counter-protesters erupted into physical violence over the local district pushing LGBT themes.

The clash occurred while the Glendale Unified School District board met to vote on a resolution recognizing June as Pride Month and committing to a “safe, inclusive, and nurturing environment” for students. The resolution ended up passing.

Three of the Glendale protesters were arrested.

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