Hats off to Elle Reeve, who in her coverage of the Colorado struggle between Moms For Liberty and the folks standing up to them, elicited this exchange with M4L chapter president Darcy Schoening:
Reeve: What I feel like you're strongly implying, and I'd like to get your take on it 'cause I don't want to attribute something that you don't think. But to me it sounds like you're saying there's some kind of high level coordinated effort to make more children trans and gay--
Schoening: Sure there is. Yes.
Reeve: Well, who's directing that?
Schoening: Teachers' unions, and, um, our President and a lot of funding sources, and teachers unions are also heavily backing the curriculum that we're bringing into schools.
Reeve: Why would they want more kids to be gay and trans?
Schoening: Because it breaks down the family unit which breaks down traditional conservative values. It breaks down a lot of things in this country. It changes the way that people think, it changes the way that people handle politics.
Reeve (in added voice over narration): Of course, there's no evidence of a coordinated plot to make kids trans.
Reeve goes on to ask Schoening if that doesn't sound like a conspiracy theory, and Schoening pivots to saying that it's not a conspiracy theory that the state and federal government are trying to take "a stronger and stronger hand" in public education and "raising out kids." She goes on to say that it's a "mischaracterization" to say that she thinks these people want everyone to be gay. "The people who want to erode away parental rights-- the left, the teachers unions-- they'll use LGBTQ or whatever may be the case at the time" as just "tools" to "erode away" at parental rights.
It's as good an encapsulation as you'll find of this particular viewpoint. First, the foundational belief is that nobody is born LGBTQ; therefor, all LGBTQ persons were "recruited" or tricked into turning LGBTQ. It's not an unusual belief; I taught with someone for years who was certain that high school girls only pretend to be lesbians for attention. And while there's no doubt that some students experiment with sexual orientation and gender identity like they experiment with hairdos, the evidence that LGBTQ is not a "lifestyle" choice is so overwhelming that I wouldn't know where to begin, other than if you've ever sat with a teen struggling with all the issues that come from discovering that they're LGBTQ in a cis straight world, you would not imagine for a second that this was something they chose, on purpose.
But if someone starts with the assumption that LGBTQ is a choice, then one next has to ask why. The anti-LGBTQ crowd of course deduces that part of the recruiting is about recruiting partners, a seduction of the innocent (a charge and a 1954 book by Fredric Wertham that charged that comic books were, among other things, pushing homosexuality).
Then you get the explanation offered here--that turning kids LGBTQ is about disrupting traditional conservative values as a way of amassing political power. This parallels the similar argument about racism stuff; all racial issues in this country were solved around 1964, so anyone still bringing it up is just creating a fake issue as a way of gaining political power.
If you believe that every accusation is a confession, then what we have here is a confession that the M4L crowd is simply working parentals rights and LGBTQ issues to gain some political clout.
Perhaps this is the place to mention that Schoening, in addition to the M4L gig, used to be a member of the Monument Board of Trustees (by appointment), in which position she leaked privileged information. Last year she announced a run as a super-conservative for the Colorado House of Representatives (though it does not appear to have actually happened, nor did she win re-election to the Monument board).
If M4L is in the business of defending the traditional family, I'd expect to hear about their opposition to divorce, Maybe there's another part of the interview in which Schoening expresses her disapproval of Colorado Rep Lauren Boebert's filing for divorce. Still, folks on the right are working to apparently poised to attack no fault divorce, so I guess we're on that. Personally, I like the conservative argument for same sex marriage, which sees it as LGBTQ persons buying in to the traditional family idea.
Meanwhile, Schoening's theory fails to account for the fact that the most teachers are, in fact, parents themselves. About half currently have children at home, while the vast majority of the rest have children who have grown. How is it that all these parents are backing an anti-parent conspiracy?
CNN's Elle Reeve: "It seems like you think there’s some high-level, coordinated effort to make more children trans and gay.— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 20, 2023
Moms for Liberty: "Yep."
Reeve: Who's doing that?
MFL: Teachers unions, Biden, money.
Reeve: "Why would they want more children to be gay and trans?" pic.twitter.com/JZKRucE4nh