A conservative “pro-family” group is trying to rally mothers against the Scholastic Corporation for publishing children’s books that honor diverse gender identities.
One Million Moms, an advocacy group that has largely focused its efforts on condemning progressive ideology in the entertainment industry, on Wednesday aimed its sights on Scholastic, one of the world’s largest publishers of children’s books.
In a post on its website, One Million Moms took particular issue with one book, George, a chapter book intended for kids in grades 3 to 7. Written by the queer activist and author Alex Gino, George tells the story of a transgender fourth grader. The 10-year-old hopes that by playing Charlotte in her school’s upcoming production of Charlotte’s Web, she’ll finally get her parents and teacher to look past the gender that was assigned to her at birth and accept her as a girl.
George, which was published by Scholastic in 2015, was praised by critics as a “profound, moving” book. But One Million Moms doesn’t think the book is “family-friendly” material.
“Scholastic is not safe for your child and parents should be warned,” the group wrote. “Scholastic does not have our children’s best interests at heart.”
One Million Moms asked its supporters to warn Scholastic that they would boycott the company unless it stops “publishing and promoting pro-homosexual and pro-transgender books for children.”
Gino declined to comment on the One Million Moms campaign, while Scholastic did not reply to HuffPost’s request for comment.
When George first came out, Gino told NPR that they hoped the book would help transgender kids feel less alone.
Studies show that people who identify as transgender and face rejection from their families are at increased risk for depression and suicide. According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, the majority of transgender people who were out or perceived to be transgender between kindergarten and 12th grade experienced some form of mistreatment, including being verbally harassed (54 percent), physically attacked (24 percent) and sexually assaulted (13 percent).
As part of its pitch against Scholastic, One Million Moms cited a statement from the American College of Pediatricians that claimed accepting kids’ transgender identities amounted to “child abuse.” According to the Human Rights Campaign, the American College of Pediatricians is a small, socially conservative organization that holds extreme views about LGBTQ people.
On the other hand, the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is composed of 66,000 pediatricians in the United States, has expressed support for transgender children and adults and condemns attempts to stigmatize or marginalize them.
One Million Moms is a division of the American Family Association, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as an extremist group for its anti-queer ideology.
In addition to its campaigns against diverse gender identities, One Million Moms has also expressed outrage over companies that showcase same-sex relationships in their advertisements and television shows ― such as Disney, for featuring a two-mom family in the kids’ show “Doc McStuffins,” and Campbell’s Soup, for featuring gay dads in an ad.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story indicated George was a picture book. In fact, it is a chapter book.