Moms for Liberty struggles with fallout from sexual assault allegation against co-founder’s husband

When news broke of a rape allegation against Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler, the husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, Moms for Liberty tweeted that it was “another attempt today to ruin the reputation of a strong woman fighting for America.” That went over poorly enough that the group subsequently deleted the tweet and issued a statement calling for the allegations to be “taken seriously and fully investigated” and distancing themselves from Bridget Ziegler, who, they emphasized, left Moms for Liberty shortly after its founding.

But it was too late for one Moms for Liberty chapter, which split from the organization. “It technically should have never been a Moms for Liberty issue, but by taking that stance Thursday night, it became their fight, and it shouldn’t have,” Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, chapter head Clarissa Paige told NBC News. (Conveniently for her, she is starting a new group called Northumberland County Education Alliance, which probably won’t carry the toxic reputation of Moms for Liberty, at least to begin with.)

Why would Bridget Ziegler become toxic because her husband allegedly committed sexual assault? Because she admitted to previously having had a consensual three-way with his accuser. Moms for Liberty would not approve of that kind of plotline, especially since, when Christian Ziegler was trying to set up an encounter with the victim and told her Bridget wouldn’t be involved, she backed out, telling him, “Sorry, I was mostly in for [Bridget].” It’s an interesting private life for someone whose public work has focused on banning books with LGBTQ+ themes.

Bridget Ziegler is also a member of the Sarasota County School Board, and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports, “While chair of the School Board, she also declined to stop a woman from calling Tom Edwards, the only openly gay member of the board, an ‘LGBTQ groomer.’”

Top Florida Republicans have called on Christian Ziegler to step down as chair of the state Republican Party, but this is a man who advised attendees of a media training session last summer to “Never apologize. Ever.” He added, “This is my view. Other people have different views on this. I think apologizing makes you weak.” That media training session? It was at the Moms for Liberty national conference.

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