PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney and Celena Morrison, Executive Director of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs released the following statements on the Moms for Liberty event taking place in Philadelphia today, June 29 through Sunday, July 2:

Mayor Kenney said, “With the Moms for Liberty summit beginning in Philadelphia this week, I want to be very clear that as a welcoming and inclusive City, we find this group’s beliefs and values problematic. We oppose this group’s policy goals, which include attempts to disregard history, ban books, and silence conversations about race, gender, and sexuality. We believe these policies are harmful to youth and I am especially troubled when these policies target classrooms, libraries, and any space where children deserve to feel safe, seen, and supported at all times.

“We strive in everything that we do to live up to our nickname as the City of Brotherly Love through respect and tolerance, and by honoring our city’s incredible diversity and the dignity and uniqueness of every individual.

“However, in spite of our disagreement with the views of Moms for Liberty, we also take freedom of speech very seriously. The City’s response to any demonstration or public protest will prioritize the safety of participants and members of the public and protect the constitutional rights of all individuals without regard to the views expressed by any group.

“Let us remember and uphold our values as a proud welcoming city that will always choose to celebrate diversity, value inclusion, and stand against hate and discrimination.”

Celena Morrison said, “Since the start of this administration, we have stood with our vibrant BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities who contribute to our diversity and add perspective to our great City. We chose this path because we know that the best possible future that we can build for ourselves and our children is one where all people are seen, supported, valued, and loved. We also stand with our teachers and librarians dedicated to instilling tolerance and fostering excitement and curiosity for learning in the minds of the next generation and the generations to come. We stand with the community organizations that fight every day for equality and advocate for the full inclusion of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ members in our communities. And we stand committed to ensuring that every Philadelphian is respected and feels the sense of belonging and security they deserve.

“We know that the presence of Moms for Liberty may stir up fear or distress for our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. We urge all those affected to take the appropriate measures to ensure their well-being while Moms for Liberty is visiting our city.”