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The ADL Center on Extremism has issued the following Community Advisory

Overview: Individuals associated with Gays Against Groomers (GAG), an anti-LGBTQ+ extremist coalition, alongside other right-wing groups, are organizing the “Stop the War on Children Rally,” a nationwide series of antiLGBTQ+ events on October 21, 2023. According to GAG, the rallies will advocate to “stop the indoctrination & sexualization of children; stop the sterilization & mutilation of children; stop the exploitation & trafficking of children; and protect & preserve the innocence of children.” These statements relate to a number of antiLGBTQ+ conspiracy theories, including false claims that LGBTQ+ adults are attempting to sexualize and “groom” young children, or otherwise coerce kids into “turning” gay or transgender. ADL and GLAAD have documented how these exact narratives have been referenced in hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault across the US from June 2022 to April 2023.


GAG announced that this event will take place in at least 30 US cities, as well as cities in Germany and Canada. Since the rally was first announced on September 20, 2023, GAG’s promotional materials for the event have amassed almost 100K views and #StopTheWarOnChildrenRally has been shared over 1,400 times on Twitter / X in the past month, suggesting that these events are likely to be well attended.


While ADL is unaware of any specific credible threats around this event, past GAG events have attracted members of violent extremist organizations. In December 2022, an anti-LGBTQ+ rally co-hosted by GAG in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, drew approximately 20 individuals associated with the far-right Proud Boys. In July 2023, a GAG-led protest against a drag show in Watertown, Wisconsin, also attracted approximately 14 individuals associated with the neo-Nazi group, Blood Tribe. Of further note, GAG chapters have been tied to at least 41 anti-LGBTQ+ incidents nationwide since June 2022, including dozens of cases of harassment, protests promoting anti-LGBTQ+ tropes and distribution of hateful propaganda.


At the end of the document, you can find a non-exhaustive list with the details of known rally locations. More locations may be announced in the lead-up to the event.


Background: Gays Against Groomers (GAG) is an anti-LGBTQ+ extremist coalition founded by Jaimee Michell. With a network of 20 chapters nationwide, GAG peddles dangerous and misleading narratives about the LGBTQ+ community, focusing on false allegations of “grooming” by drag performers, “indoctrination” by educators teaching LGBTQ-affirming curricula and “child mutilation” by gender-affirming care providers. While GAG claims that they cannot be anti-gay or anti-lesbian as they themselves identify as gay or lesbian, ADL’s definition of anti-LGBTQ+ extremism includes any person who pushes false claims and conspiracy theories about all or parts of the LGBTQ+ community, regardless of how they personally identify.


The “Stop the War on Children Rally” is being held in partnership with at least 18 other organizations. While these groups are not necessarily extremist organizations, many promote hateful anti-LGBTQ+ tropes and associate with known extremist groups.


Recommendations for the Community:

  • If at any time you feel that you may be in danger, contact law enforcement immediately.

  • Partner organizations can share this alert with law enforcement contacts for their awareness; ADL has also alerted law enforcement to this matter directly.

  • Do not confront individuals distributing propaganda, conducting banner drops or spraying/stenciling graffiti as they may be willing to engage in violence and/or film interactions to use in their digital propaganda. We encourage you to contact law enforcement to report trespassing, vandalism or harassment if any of these activities occur on your property.

  • Consult and share ADL's "Best Practices for Responding to Demonstrations and Protests Involving Hate and Extremism," attached to this email.

  • Report any bias or hate incidents to ADL at http://www.adl.org/incident.

  • ADL is here to support the community during this event and for any other matters relating to extremism, hate or bias in the region. Please contact us for any reason.


Location Details for Known Colorado Rallies:

  • State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80203 @ 10 am.

Best Practices for Responding to Demonstrations and Protests Involving Hate and Extremism
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