Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

December 5, 2023

You can't make this up. Florida's Republican Party leader, in a secret triad with Moms for Liberty co-founder, is accused of raping their third. And recording it.


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Take a breath. One article from the flood:

Police are investigating Christian Ziegler, husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, over accusations that he sexually assaulted the couple's alleged partner. [Rolling Stone, Nov. 30]

Christian Ziegler, the Florida GOP Chair and husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, is under criminal investigation over allegations of sexual battery by a woman who claims to have been involved in a long-term sexual relationship with both of the Zieglers. The investigation was first reported by the Florida Center for Governmental Accountability’s news division The Florida Trident. 

Christian (left) and Bridget Ziegler campaign with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

According to a police complaint obtained by the Trident, and sources who spoke to the publication, the woman alleges that Christian Ziegler raped her on Oct. 2 while the pair were alone in her home in Sarasota, Florida. The police report mentions the phrases “raped,” “ sexual assault allegation,” and “sexually battered,” but is otherwise heavily redacted. 

Sources with knowledge of the investigation told the Trident that police officers executed a search warrant on Ziegler’s phone, and the GOP Chair is alleged to have recorded sexual encounters between himself, his wife, and the woman. ...

The allegations against Ziegler, and the claims that he and his wife are involved in a polyamorous relationship, mark the second sex-related scandal to rock the upper echelons of the far-right activist group Moms for Liberty in recent weeks. Earlier this month, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Phillip Fisher Jr., an organizer and pastor for the organization in Philadelphia, is a registered sex offender. Fisher Jr. was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy. 

Moms for Liberty, which campaigns aggressively against education on issues of gender, race, and sexuality in schools, postures itself as deeply moralistic and presents its leadership as embodiments of traditional, Christian family values. ...      

By Lori Rozsa and Will Oremus

...On Oct. 2, the woman had agreed to have a sexual encounter with Ziegler that was to include his wife, Bridget, the affidavit says. But when the woman learned that Bridget couldn’t make it, she changed her mind and canceled. When Ziegler told her in one message that his wife was no longer available, she replied, “Sorry I was mostly in for her,” she said in a message, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the woman told Sarasota police that Ziegler then showed up at her apartment uninvited and raped her. The woman reported the alleged assault to police two days later, and a rape kit was done at a Sarasota hospital, the affidavit states.

Florida GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler addresses attendees at the Republican
Party of Florida Freedom Summit, on Nov. 4. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

Christian Ziegler later told detectives that he had consensual sex with the woman, and that he had video-recorded it and uploaded the video to Google Drive, according to the affidavit, but police were not able to locate the video. Sarasota police served a search warrant to Google last month, the affidavit says. ...

In a 911 call two days after the alleged assault, a recording of which was also obtained by the Florida Center for Government Accountability and shared with The Post, a friend of the woman asked emergency responders to check on the woman at her apartment. According to the call’s recording, the friend said the woman hadn’t shown up for work for two days. When the friend called the woman, the woman sounded “drunk” and was “slurring her words,” the friend told dispatchers. “She told me she was raped and that she’s scared to leave her house,” the friend added, according to the recording of the call.

Bridget Ziegler, who is not named in the complaint against her husband, is a co-founder of Moms for Liberty and has worked closely with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on legislation that opponents have described as anti-LGBTQ+.

Board member Bridget Ziegler attends a Central Florida Tourism Oversight District [the Disney World district] budget meeting in September.
(Joshua Lott/The Washington Post)

Ziegler, 40, said in an email Saturday to party members that he is not leaving his post. Ziegler said that he and his wife, who have three young children, are being “targeted,” adding that he believed it was “most likely due to my wife and I being such loud political voices.”

The alarm within the Florida GOP comes as the party is already roiled with divisions over whom to support in the presidential primary — DeSantis or former president Donald Trump.

...Said state Rep. Spencer Roach, a member of the Florida GOP executive committee. “I would describe this as just an absolute body blow to the Republican Party. Everyone that I’ve talked to about this is in an absolute tailspin.”

The Zieglers were seen as a rising power couple in the state, second only to Ron and Casey DeSantis in their visibility and influence in state politics. ...

Update Dec. 5: Ziegler still won't step out of the spotlight. "We Have a Country to Save": Florida GOP Chair Refuses to Resign After Rape Claim. (Miami New Times, Dec. 4)

Updates Dec. 9:

--  "Sarasota police have recovered a cell phone video taken by Florida GOP chairman Christian Ziegler of his sexual encounter with a woman who has alleged he raped her, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the criminal investigation. ..." (WUSF news, Dec. 7)

--  The video raises questions about whether the act may have been consensual, per The Trident (Dec. 7). However, the woman may have been disablingly intoxicated at the time.

--  "Bridget Ziegler has resigned her job at the conservative Leadership Institute, where she worked to train conservatives in becoming school board activists." (The Trident, Dec. 7)  


These are the kind of people vigorously seeking to rule us. 

Remember, they always project. Like closeted gay homophobes, they crusade obsessively against things they themselves secretly do. Or, things that they plan to do. 

These people are working out their guilt and repression on all the rest of us. But sometimes this makes for good political strategy! As Republican strategist-emeritus Karl Rove famously advised, if you're going to do something bad, whatever it is, accuse your opponent of doing it first.

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