MassResistance is an anti-LGBTQ+ activist organization in Massachusetts with satellite groups in several other states. Originally founded under the banner of “parental rights” with the goal of opposing sex education in public schools, the group has gone through several changes of name and refocused on anti-LGBTQ+ activism, particularly opposing gay marriage and gender-affirming care for transgender individuals.
When seeing this, one thinks of the infamous Nazi doctors during the 1930s and early 1940s. The doctors and others at the BCH gender clinic are actually quite proud of being part of this clinic, and (until recently), their names were listed publicly.
MassResistance was founded in 1995 as the Parents' Rights Coalition by Brian Camenker. In its first year of activity, the group sponsored an initiative to require Massachusetts educators to inform parents about planned sex education courses.
The group changed its name to the Article 8 Alliance in 2003 in response to Massachusett’s ongoing legal battles regarding same-sex marriage. Camenker’s activism at the time included compiling “The Mitt Romney Deception,” a document objecting to Mitt Romney’s record as insufficiently opposed to LGBTQ+ rights.
In 2006, the group changed its name to MassResistance, reflecting their self-described “true resistance to tyrannical government.” Despite the change in name, the group’s goals remained much the same, focusing mostly on anti-LGBTQ+ activism in public policy and education.
History of Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) first listed MassResistance as a hate group in 2008, though the organization objects to that designation.
Their first major campaign revolving around the 2003-2004 push against the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts following the results of Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health. The decision led to several opinion pieces from the group (most no longer available) and an ongoing campaign to repeal state-sanction gay marriage in Massachusetts, including a campaign to reinstate a repealed law from 1913 which invalidated marriages by out-of-state couples if the marriage was not legal in the state they lived in.
MassResistance has been a vocal opponent to anti-bullying measures in education as early as 2007, claiming anti-bullying campaigns are orchestrated by a “homosexual group targeting children.”
In 2016, MassResistance self-published The Health Hazards of Homosexuality, with a foreword written by Camenker. The book was delisted from Amazon for violating the retailer’s offensive content guidelines, and was one of many publications that contributed to Amazon refusing to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ individuals as mentally ill.
The group has been involved in recent pushes to have pro-LGBTQ+ and racially diverse reading materials removed from libraries, appearing alongside alt-right activist groups like Moms for Liberty. In one notable incident in Mississippi, a local mayor put activists in contact with MassResistance in order to raise support during board meetings for his demand to see LGBTQ+ reading materials removed from the Ridgeland Public Library. The group has also been involved in multiple protests against Drag Queen Storytime events in public libraries.