Moms For Liberty leader Bridget Ziegler still hasn’t resigned over sex scandal – and people in Florida aren’t happy

Members of the LGBTQ+ community, parents and students have turned out in force at a Sarasota County school board meeting to demand the resignation of Moms for Liberty’s Bridget Ziegler for a second time.

Ziegler, who co-founded the anti-LGBTQ+ group – defined as extremist by civil rights organisation the Southern Poverty Law Center – has refused to step down from her role on the board after a woman accused her husband of rape and she admitted to taking part in a same-sex encounter. 

She has been labelled a hypocrite for campaigning against LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion, only for it to turn out that she and her husband had a threesome with another woman. 

Police are currently investigating the allegations against Christian Ziegler, which he denies, claiming the sexual encounter was consensual. 

In response to the allegations, Republicans in Florida voted to remove him as the state party chairman. 

His wife, however, has not relented and controversially remains on the school board despite it voting to oust her. 

You may like to watch

However, the vote is non-binding and only Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, has the power to force Ziegler to step down. 

Moms for Liberty
Moms for Liberty’s Bridget Ziegler has been branded a hypocrite. (Matthew Hatcher/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Retired deputy superintendent of Maryland schools John Smeallie called her “a hypocrite of the worst order”, during the public comment period of the meeting on Tuesday (16 January). 

“If this is your approach to education, then you are unfit to serve on any board,” he said, according to The Daily Beast. She is “creating fear among students and staff who are part of [the LGBTQ+] community”, he added. 

“Despite your attacks on the LGTBQ+ community, it would appear that you are a part of it. Certainly a B, maybe a plus,” he went on to say. 

One 12-year-old student said they were terrified the board would continue to pass anti-queer policies which would make it difficult for them to learn “because of who I am”. 

During almost three hours of comments, speakers also laid into other board members, including Timothy Enos, Robyn Marinelli and chairwoman Karen Rose, for their lack of backbone over Ziegler’s refusal to resign.

One of the 70 people to speak, Paulina Testerman, said: “After the Ziegler sex scandal made headline news, Mrs. Rose, you announced that you would be formally calling for Mrs Ziegler’s resignation due to her being quote, ‘an irreparably harmful distraction to the school board’. But when Mrs. Ziegler refused to step down, you simply surrendered.”

According to the Herald-Tribune, Jennifer Bowles, a parent of three students in the district, said: “Your presence is simply a distraction. It is evidence of your lack of compassion for our students, our teachers, our schools, our community and your very own co-workers.”

A few people spoke in support of Ziegler, the paper reported, but Hannah Silva, a senior at Sarasota Polytechnical High School, laid into her, saying: “The image of [the] Sarasota County school system has been shattered in the eyes of students and the rest of the world thanks to the work you’ve put in to derail education and make our schools your political playground.

“Enough is enough… your time here is done.”

Please login or register to comment on this story.