Gov. DeSantis appoints anti-LGBTQ lawyer to appeals bench
Image via AP.

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He’s argued that enforcing equal rights of LGBTQ people is ‘discrimination against people of faith.’

Gov. Ron DeSantis has named an outspoken opponent of LGBTQ equality to the appeals bench of Central and Southwest Florida.

DeSantis appointed Apopka lawyer Roger Gannam to serve as judge on the 6th District Court of Appeal, which hears cases from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Polk, Orange and Osceola counties.

For the better part of a decade, Gannam has made headlines for his legal battles against LGBTQ rights for the Liberty Counsel, an evangelical organization the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an extremist hate group.

Roger Gannam. Image via the Florida Bar.

Gannam’s activities have included a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to same-sex marriage rights and opposition to Jacksonville’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

In a Florida Times Union guest column about the latter in 2015, Gannam argued enforcing equal legal protections of LGBTQ people is “discrimination against people of faith.”

“Sober and rational concerns for modesty, privacy and safety will be recategorized as discrimination under the new and far-from-settled concept of ‘gender identity,’” he wrote. “Boys will be allowed to enter girls’ dressing and shower areas, to expose themselves and view girls in all stages of undress. Domestic abuse shelters must allow biological men who present a female ‘identity’ to sleep in the women’s dormitories.”

“Most insidiously,” he continued, “male predators will use the legal cover of female ‘identity’ to gain unchallenged access to women-only bathrooms and dressing rooms.”

That passage came up this April in a South Florida Sun-Sentinel examination of 15 applicants, including Gannam, who vied for the Florida Supreme Court seat Justice Ricky Polston vacated. The Sentinel noted Gannam wrote “N/A,” not applicable, in response to a Judicial Nominating Committee question about whether he would be biased on an issue that might reach the court.

“That answer strikes us as elusive,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. “It’s also disqualifying.”

In May, DeSantis selected Judge Meredith Sasso of 6th District Court of Appeal to succeed Polston. That left a vacancy on the appeals bench Gannam will now fill.

Gannam holds a law degree from the University of Florida. Prior to joining the Liberty Counsel in August 2014, he was a partner at the Jacksonville law firm Lindell Farson & Zebouni, where for more than eight years he handled “a broad range of business and consumer litigation, as well as real estate and general business transactions,” according to his LinkedIn profile.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Joe

    August 11, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    UF Law really churns out some dickbag lawyers.

  • Dont Say FLA

    August 11, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    I smell the hand of Gaycakes James at work here.

  • PeterH

    August 11, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Meanwhile here in the Governor’s home state of Florida educators are very concerned that schools commence in a few weeks short 12,000 teachers, administrators, bus drivers and security guards!

  • jerri Myers

    August 12, 2023 at 11:45 am

    He is describing his own sinister, sick desires to rape women by using public restrooms and other private female spaces under a cloak of deguise. I do not know any man or boy who disrespect the opposite sex as this newly appointed judge does. He speaks as though the entire male population is focused on sexually violating women by seeking opportunities to visit women’s bathrooms. When one attributes such sick character to others it always gives a clear picture of their own sleazy character. The justice system will be demeaned by this sick character.

  • Cilla Raughley

    August 12, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    I am increasingly grateful to live in a state where my rights are protected from this religious fundamentalism. I hope Floridians recognize the threat here, and will throw this guy out of office. One question– why do these religious extremists always seem to want to impose the worst of the bible on everyone; why do they never call on us to honor the Beatitudes?

  • Michael K

    August 12, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    Ronda needs to explain why he hates LGBTQ people. Is he a closet case, like most virulent anti-gay Republicans? Is he mad because no one finds him attractive? Or is he simply jealous of people with style, grace, and a keen sense of humor, who are fabulous creative spirits?

    Whatever the cause, they need help.

  • tom palmer

    August 13, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    Keep digging the hole, governor.

  • Peggy

    August 14, 2023 at 10:48 am

    The best decision I ever made was leaving religion behind and raising my children far away from the evil and corrupting influence of the church.

  • TJC

    August 15, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    “Boys will be allowed to enter girls’ dressing and shower areas, to expose themselves and view girls in all stages of undress.”
    Roger Gannam should keep his personal fantasies to himself, it’s embarrassing to hear.

Comments are closed.


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