Bridget Ziegler and her husband, Christian, like to have three-party sex with another woman. Threesomes are not illegal, but some people consider them immoral, which has raised problems for the Florida power couple. Both have promoted so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation restricting discussion of homosexuality in public schools.
In October, the couple was scheduled to meet again with their female sex partner. For some reason, Bridget bailed on the outing, but Christian went ahead and visited the woman, who has accused him of rape and sexual battery. Police have started a criminal investigation.
Bridget Ziegler is one of the founders of Moms for Liberty, a culture-warring “parental rights” group that came out of nowhere in 2021, has been endorsed by conservative Christian groups, and now ranks as a major power player. Donald Trump and other GOP candidates appeared at the group’s annual convention this summer.
Christian Ziegler is chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, which has worked with Gov. Ron DeSantis and conservative Christian groups to enact “anti-woke” legislation. He denies any wrongdoing.
Pressured to resign, he refused, saying he might step down if paid $2 million. On Sunday, the Florida GOP voted to declare him unfit for office and stripped him of his salary and authority.
Bridget Ziegler helped found Moms for Liberty but left shortly after, and the group has written her out of its history. DeSantis appointed her to the Sarasota County School Board, which in a 4-1 vote asked her to resign. She refused.
“Most of our community could not care less what you do in the privacy of your own home, but your hypocrisy takes center stage,” said a fellow school board member.
DeSantis also appointed Bridget Ziegler to serve on the agency that oversees Disney World, a DeSantis target for its alleged “wokeness.”
In a statement responding to the scandal, Moms for Liberty again distanced itself from its co-founder.
“Bridget Ziegler resigned from her role as co-founder with Moms for Liberty within a month of our launch in January of 2021,” the group said. “To our opponents who have spewed hateful vitriol over the last several days: We reject your attacks.”
That hasn’t stopped critics from charging Ziegler, and her organization, with rank hypocrisy.
“Moms for Liberty Flunks Its Own Morality Test,” said the headline of a Bloomberg opinion article. “The conservative education movement’s co-founder doesn’t follow the ‘traditional’ values the organization wants to force on America. … (She) has made it her mission to codify a moral code that we now know she doesn’t follow.”
“Hypocrisy on steroids,” said another opinion piece. “The woman who led an ultra-conservative movement in Florida education that sought to put gays back in the closet was having a long-term, three-way lesbian relationship with a lover she shared with her husband, the state’s GOP chairman.”
“The Zieglers must have gotten a chuckle toying with the chumps as they frolicked in orgiastic style,” wrote Froma Harrop. “The true mission of this ‘parental rights group’ was to scoop up cheap votes from parents genuinely concerned about their children’s moral upbringing.”
Founded amid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moms for Liberty started out opposing school closings and vaccination and masking mandates before expanding to book bans for LGBTQ curriculum and Critical Race Theory.
Its mission is “fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” National leaders say they work with the group as a “humble servant to the Lord” and “to do my part in service to him and our country.”
Moms for Liberty claims 130,000 members in 300 chapters in 48 states, and its promotion of parental rights may have helped elect Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia.
But some observers say the group’s rapid growth has halted and its influence is waning as some chapters have been plagued by problems:
- The group’s Philadelphia leader was a registered sex offender.
- Two Kentucky leaders were removed after photos surfaced of the two women with members of the Proud Boys, a violent anti-government group.
- An Indiana chapter quoted Hitler in its newsletter.
News reports say the group’s school board candidates in 10 states met greater resistance in 2023 because opponents were prepared to challenge the group rather than being caught by surprise as in past elections. And one expert says the group’s power is limited to four states: Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the group “extremist,” saying, “In its efforts to combat anything that it considers ‘woke ideology,’ Moms for Liberty commonly propagates conspiracy theories about public schools. … Despite the background of its founding members serving on various boards of education, Moms for Liberty has taken a stance that is firmly anti-public school.”
“I personally think that the Department of Education should not exist,” said Betsey DeVos, an evangelical Christian who was Donald Trump’s Education Secretary, at a Moms for Liberty Summit.
Moms for Liberty says it plans to sue SPLC for the designation, a tactic that didn’t work for D. James Kennedy Ministries.
While the group faces multiple challenges, it is marching forward on many fronts:
- In Charleston, S.C., Moms for Liberty is teaming with Hillsdale College to open a K-12 charter school.
- The Colorado Springs chapter recently issued a petition calling for a criminal investigation of local schools where libraries housed allegedly obscene books.
One expert says Moms for Liberty is “still winning the culture war, in part because its anti-public-school ideology animates parts of the GOP.”
Moms for Liberty has solid support from Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family and its family of activist organizations.
“Florida Shows the Way on Protecting Parents’ Rights and Children’s Minds,” said Focus, which called the group “an excellent and impressive nonprofit organization” that’s not extremist, unlike the National Education Association.
The Family Research Council featured Moms for Liberty at its Pray Vote Stand Summit. The group argued for a “mass exodus” from public schools during a panel discussion on education titled: “Fighting Indoctrination on a National Scale.”And FRC has featured the group on Tony Perkins’ “Washington Watch.”
The Focus-aligned legal group Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Moms for Liberty in a lawsuit against a library the group claims violated people’s freedom of speech during a presentation on the dangers of an illusory “transgender ideology.”