Joe Harding, Don’t Say Gay author indicted for fraud

joe harding

Don’t Say Pay! You have to give it to homophobes – they’re gold medal winners in the problematic people stakes. The Department of Justice has charged Republican Joe Harding with six counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements. Harding authored Florida’s notorious Don’t Say Gay law.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) allege Joe Harding attempted to obtain over $150,000 in federal pandemic relief funds fraudulently.

He allegedly defrauded the Small Business Association by obtaining COVID-related small business loans. The DOJ alleges he obtained the loans by “means of materially false and fraudulent pretences, representations, and promises, and for the purpose of executing such scheme, caused wire communications to be transmitted in interstate commerce.”

Harding allegedly applied for disaster relief loans using the names of dormant business entities. The DOJ further claims the state representative created fraudulent bank statements. He also engaged in monetary transactions with funds derived from unlawful activity.

Penalties for the alleged crimes could result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

Joe Harding statement

Harding issued a statement saying he pled not guilty. He added in a sub sequent statement that he had resigned from the Florida House of Representatives.

“Regarding the current legal matter, I cannot comment on the details of my case. There will be a time when I can tell my story in detail, and I will. For now, let me reassure my constituents and the taxpayers that I repaid every penny of the loan I obtained, and I have done my best to cooperate fully with all authorities. That is all I will say for now, and I will communicate any additional details of my legal matter through my attorney.”

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at

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