The leader of a Pennsylvania chapter of the conservative activist group Moms for Liberty told news outlets she was splitting off to form a new organization after a sexual assault allegation involving the group’s co-founder was made last week.
Clarissa Paige told NBC News and The News-Item, a Pennsylvania newspaper, that she was renaming her group the Northumberland County Education Alliance, which will continue to push for the kind of anti-LGBTQ+ school policies that Moms for Liberty has become known for. Since its inception, the group has aimed to take over local school boards to transform U.S. public education.
A Florida woman’s accusation against Florida GOP chairman Christian Ziegler, the husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, became public last week, revealing that the couple engaged in consensual threesomes. The woman alleged Christian Ziegler raped her after Bridget Ziegler could not come to a scheduled date in early October. Christian Ziegler allegedly showed up at her Sarasota apartment uninvited, according to an affidavit, which noted that surveillance cameras had captured him entering and leaving the complex.
Christian Ziegler has claimed the encounter was consensual and steadfastly refused to resign his post.
Moms for Liberty became mixed up in the allegation when the group posted in defense of Bridget Ziegler on X, formerly Twitter, saying that the reports were “another attempt today to ruin the reputation of a strong woman fighting for America.” The post has since been deleted.
“It technically should have never been a Moms for Liberty issue, but by taking that stance Thursday night, it became their fight, and it shouldn’t have,” Paige told NBC News.
She said other chapter leaders have contacted her about branching off from the national organization, too.
Moms for Liberty distanced itself from the situation on Tuesday with a statement from Tina Descovich and Tiffany Justice, who founded the group with Bridget Ziegler in 2021. Bridget resigned from her leadership role the same year.
“We are laser-focused on fundamental parental rights, and that mission is and always will be bigger than any one person,” Descovich and Justice said, Florida’s Herald-Tribune reported.
The allegations against Christian Ziegler have also roiled much of the Florida Republican Party, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calling for Ziegler’s resignation. The vice-chair of the Florida GOP’s Faith Mobilization Committee, Rev. John Vacchiano, reportedly called on Ziegler to resign in a Wednesday email that came “after much prayer.”