Whether or not the allegations that Florida GOP head Christian Ziegler raped a Sarasota woman two months ago are substantiated, there will remain an affidavit that the police submitted to secure a search warrant for his phone.
And this sworn document attests that Ziegler’s wife, Bridget, acknowledged that she and her husband had consensual sex with this same woman a year ago.
Were Bridget Ziegler somebody else, the appropriate response to news that she had sex with another woman a year ago would have been: So what? Who cares if it was a thousand times?
But Bridget Ziegler has made herself a national figure by stoking anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry.
She is on the Saratoga County School Board and served as its chair until her term expired last week.
She is also on the board of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District that Gov. Ron DeSantis put in place to punish Disney for voicing opposition to “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. She claims to have authored the bill, and she stood smiling behind DeSantis at the signing.
She is also executive vice president of the ultra–conservative Leadership Institute, serving as the national director of its school board leaders programs.
“Training the Next Generation of Conservative Leaders,” her profile on the group website says.
Since the sex assault allegations surfaced, DeSantis has called for Christian Ziegler to step down as head of the Florida GOP because “the mission is too important”—but he has so far said nothing about Bridget Ziegler relinquishing her seat on the Disney oversight board.
The board did not respond to a request for comment on her continued presence, but you will be able to see for yourself if the “Don’t Say Gay” champion is still welcome when it meets Wednesday morning. Perhaps some of those who have accused Ziegler of rank hypocrisy for publicly bashing LGBTQ+ causes while allegedly admitting to sleeping with a woman might take advantage of the public comment period.
There’s little doubt that members of the LGBTQ+ community will want a say when the school board meets on Dec. 12. Should she show up, she is likely to get a well deserved taste of the condemnation she allowed others to suffer unjustly.
The board is now chaired by Rose Karen, who is part of the 4-1 conservative majority. She was unable to say yesterday whether the board expects Bridget Ziegler to resign in the wake of the revelations.
“We are monitoring the situation,” Karen reported.
It is hard to imagine that the detective who signed the affidavit had any reason to lie about what Bridget Ziegler told him. And while Christian Ziegler has denied the rape allegations, his wife has not denied telling the police that she and her husband had consensual sex with his accuser.
That is enough to mark Bridget Ziegler a monumental hypocrite. And any board that does not ditch her for that reason alone should itself resign.