Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Florida lawmaker who sponsored state's 'Don't Say Gay' law indicted by federal grand jury for COVID loan fraud

Florida State Rep Joe Harding

Editor's note - The one thing I will NEVER stop loving about this blog is the support I receive. Many folks know what I am trying to accomplish here, so they support me with their readership, words of encouragement, ad sales, and tips such as the one below. 

From The Associated Press:

The Florida lawmaker who sponsored the controversial law critics call “Don't Say Gay” has been indicted on charges of defrauding a federal coronavirus loan program for small businesses, officials said Wednesday. Federal prosecutors said Rep. Joe Harding, 35, illegally obtained or tried to obtain more than $150,000 from the Small Business Administration in pandemic aid loans. He is being charged with two counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and two counts of making false statements. 

According to Politico:

The indictment, unsealed Wednesday night, alleges that between Dec. 1, 2020 and March 1, 2021 Harding used the dormant companies on applications for loans on the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications, including using false bank statements as supporting documentation. . . . Harding, 35, was formally indicted on Tuesday. He had a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, and was

The Associated Press article went on to point out that Harding sponsored the state's infamous 'Don't Say Gay' bill which later became law.:

Harding, a Republican, became nationally know this year over his sponsorship of a law that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, as well as material that is not deemed age-appropriate. 

In particular, Harding wanted a controversial amendment included:

A portion of the bill originally said that school officials must out LGBTQ students to their parents unless "a reasonably prudent person would believe that such a disclosure would lead to abuse, abandonment, or neglect . . ." 

In a change suggested by the bill's sponsor, Rep Joe Harding, school officials would be required to out LGBTQ kids to their parents regardless of whether or not it would lead to abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

Harding later withdrew the amendment after a huge round of criticism from parents, students, and teachers.

The post isn't about gloating but simply a reminder that LGBTQ people are not the problem. But those who undermine our rights and safety? Well . . .

Karma don't play.

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