Bill Donohue

Moms for Liberty is a pro-family organization dedicated to protecting the wellbeing of children. But to radical left-wing politicians and activists, it is a threat to their agenda. The latest public foe of this organization is Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine; he previously served in the New York City Council.

Levine went ballistic when he learned of an event that Moms for Liberty will hold in New York City on January 18. He said they “have no place here,” accusing them of supporting “book bans” and the harassment of teachers and school librarians. He added that they have been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “far right extremist organization.”

Levine does not speak for all New Yorkers, so he has no business deciding which organizations have a “place” here. Indeed, as an agent of the state, his words are dangerously censorial: government officials should never threaten law-abiding voluntary associations.

The arrogance of this man is unfortunately not a novel experience for New Yorkers.

In 2011, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio [he would later become the mayor] publicly objected to a billboard erected by black pro-life Americans. Life Always posted a billboard that said, “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” De Blasio called for it to be removed, simply because he objected. He succeeded.

In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told pro-life conservatives that they “have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” So he decided to speak for all New Yorkers, effectively telling pro-lifers to get out.

Levine shares the same radical politics that marked the tenure of de Blasio and Cuomo. His enthusiasm for abortion is so strong that he has invited “everyone in any place in the country” to come to New York to abort their babies. He also supports federal funding of abortion and abortions performed for sex-selection purposes.

During Covid, Levine proved to be more controlling than even Gov. Cuomo. When the governor issued an executive order at the end of May 2020, allowing groups of up to 10 to gather without a mask, Levine was livid. He called it a “shocking order.”

But not wearing a mask and not practicing social distancing was perfectly fine by Levine when it came to the rioters who destroyed New York City during this time. “If there is a spike in coronavirus cases in the next two weeks, don’t blame the protesters”; rather, he said, blame racism and the cops.

The man is also clueless. When there was an outbreak of monkeypox in New York—a direct result of gay sex practices—Levine tweeted that “95% of the cases are in men, for some unexplained reason.” He just doesn’t get it.

When he was a New York City Councilman, Levine showed his contempt for diversity and religious liberty when he refused to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2014. Gays were allowed to march in the parade but not under their own banner (the same was true of pro-life groups). But that didn’t matter—Levine wanted to force parade organizers to follow his politics.

It is one thing to adopt a radical political agenda; it is quite another to smear innocent Americans.

Moms for Liberty is not in favor of book banning. Like most Americans, they believe that there are certain books—e.g., those with graphic sexual content—that are not appropriate for children. Nor do they promote the harassment of school employees. In fact, what Levine calls “harassment” is what most would call free speech.

Most risible of all is Levine’s reliance on the Southern Poverty Law Center for assessments of extremist organizations. This far-left entity has branded mainstream pro-family and non-profit law groups (the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom) as extremist, yet when it comes to bona-fide urban terrorist groups—such as Antifa—it not only says they are not violent, it actually says that classifying them as such is “dangerous” and a “threat” to civil liberties.

The Catholic League, which is headquartered in New York City, welcomes Moms for Liberty. We also have a piece of advice for Levine: know your place, back off, and learn the virtue of tolerance.

Contact Levine’s director of communications, Winthrop Roosevelt:

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