MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Two groups rallied on Tuesday in front of the Montgomery County Public Schools Board Of Education building.

The rally which was happening while the Board of Education meeting took place inside, had to do with LGBTQ materials in the school district and parents having the option to opt their kids out of certain materials.

The side rallying for Family rights was organized by Coalition Of Virtue, a group under the organization Family Rights For Religious Freedom. Some with the organization “Moms for Liberty” also rallied with the Coalition of Virtue.

The group which included supporters of the LGBTQIA+ community and members of the Rainbow Coalition also rallied and said kids should be able to learn about all aspects of life.
The people who rallied with the Coalition of Virtue called for parental rights and for the MCPS board of education to restore the option to let parents opt out of gender and sexual education.

Kareem Monib with the Coalition of Virtue said MCPS notified parents in March that they would no longer have the opt-out option. And he said members of the coalition have been trying to convince the board and have been to every board meeting since March asking for the opt-out option to be restored.

The rally happened as there has been some friction between parents and the school district in regard to some LGBTQ content being taught to kids in the classroom. In May, some parents in the school district sued the Maryland school system over LGBTQ books their kids read in class.

This month, MCPS recognized pride month, and one of the leaders of the Coalition of Virtue said there are some things that go against their religious beliefs.

“It’s a religious; our religion forbids a lot of things. We have other teachings related to sexuality,” said Kareem Monib, president of the Coalition of Virtue. “And so for us to expose our children to something that celebrates that, you know, it’s not just the academic study of it, but the celebration of it that becomes a problem,” he added.

During the rally one side chanted “Protect our children.” another side chanted “Love is love.”

Montgomery County Parent, Michelle Peterson rallied with the group in support of LGBTQ and she said they were there to support the LGBTQ community in Montgomery County schools.

“There are children that are being raised in ideologies that don’t support LGBT and they don’t learn about it. where are they going to learn about it? they need to learn about it in school,” said Michelle Peterson. “And if they don’t get acceptance from their home communities, where are they going to find acceptance other than outside of that home community,” Peterson added.

A public comment section was on the agenda of the board of education meeting that started at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Both groups said rallygoers on both sides were going to speak and address the Board of Education about their concerns.