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GOP Appointed OFR Commissioner Has Ties To Anti-LGBTQ Extremists

Republican cabinet members voted to make Russell Weigel the new commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation without any discussion on Monday. A review of Weigel’s resume shows his disturbing support of the Christian Family Coalition.

While much still needs to be learned about why Weigel was tapped for the position, just a review of his resume showed his connection to an anti-LGBTQ group. On the fourth page of his application documents, he boasts in his community service section that he’s “an active supporter of the Christian Family Coalition” –– an extreme anti-LGBTQ group based in South Florida.

The group has opposed conversion therapy bans, in a 2018 scorecard, the group pushed a transphobic troupe about men in women’s restrooms, and in August, the group filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that asked the court to rule employers can fire someone for being gay or transgender.

On December 3, Commissioner Nikki Fried blasted the GOP cabinet members handling the appointment without discussion. Telling the Tampa Bay Times “Obviously they knew exactly who they were appointing yesterday … That was apparent by the quickness of the meeting, and it meant in my view that those conversations were happening outside the sunshine. That’s a real problem to me.”

Juan Peñalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, called Weigel’s connections to LGBTQ extremists disturbing:

“Governor Ron DeSantis and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis picked Russell Weigel with no discussion, and now we learn that Weigel boasted in his application his support of anti-LGBTQ extremists.

Florida has no nondiscrimination law to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. Weigel could use his position of power to discriminate against our community without any consequences. DeSantis and Patronis’ appointment was reckless and shows they have no desire to be leaders for all Floridians.”

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