Sponsor of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Homosexual’ legislation resigns following indictment for pandemic help fraud

The Florida state legislator who sponsored the invoice that turned referred to as the “Don’t Say Homosexual” invoice has resigned after he was indicted for pandemic-era mortgage fraud. 

State Rep. Joe Harding (R) stated in an announcement posted on his Fb web page on Thursday that he’s resigning efficient instantly, saying that Floridians’ leaders shouldn’t be burdened by distractions which can be “mine alone.” 

“After I determined to run in in 2019 for the Florida Home, I did so for 2 easy causes: I like folks, and I like Florida. Right now, I’m resigning from my place for a similar two causes: I like folks, and I like Florida,” he stated. 

Harding’s resignation comes after the Justice Division (DOJ) charged him with two counts of wire fraud, two counts of cash laundering and two counts of constructing false statements to the Small Enterprise Administration. 

The indictment stems from accusations that Harding submitted false documentation when making use of for an Financial Damage Catastrophe Mortgage, which is supposed to assist small companies get better from the pandemic’s financial impacts. The DOJ alleges that the documentation Harding submitted included the names of inactive enterprise entities. 

The cash laundering cost comes from Harding allegedly transferring the stolen funds. 

Harding stated within the assertion that he can not touch upon the small print of his case, however would extra element when he’s ready. He stated he needed to reassure his constituents and taxpayers that he repaid “each penny” of the mortgage he obtained and has completed the very best he can to cooperate with authorities. 

“It has been a terrific honor to serve the folks of this state and extra particularly the folks of Levy and Marion Counties. Nevertheless, as a consequence of authorized points that require my full focus, it’s my opinion that now’s the time to permit another person to serve my district,” he stated. 

Harding was the principle sponsor of the Parental Rights in Training Act, which turned recognized by critics because the “Don’t Say Homosexual” legislation.

The laws prevents academics in kindergarten by third grade from having classroom dialogue on sexual orientation and gender identification and all academics from instruction on these matters that’s not “age applicable.”