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Florida legislator, who sponsored ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, resigns amid federal fraud charges

Supporters of Florida's recently signed Parental Rights in Education law demonstrate at the Duval County Public Schools building in Jacksonville, Fla., on May 3.
Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union
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USA Today Network via Reuters Co.
Supporters of Florida's Parental Rights in Education law demonstrate at the Duval County Public Schools building on May 3.

A Republican Florida lawmaker, who authored the controversial law dubbed "Don't Say Gay," resigned Thursday, the day after he was indicted for defrauding the federal coronavirus loan program for small businesses.

In a lengthy post on Facebook on Thursday, state Rep. Joe Harding, R-Williston, said he was immediately resigning from his House seat and talked about his work representing his constituents. He declined to talk about the federal indictment against him.

“It has been a great honor to serve the people of this state and more specifically the people of Levy and Marion Counties,” Harding said. “However, due to legal issues that require my complete focus, it is my opinion that now is the time to allow someone else to serve my district.”

Read the rest of this story from WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union.