WASHINGTON — The Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund is concerned that U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), who was elected speaker of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, has a long history of hate group ties, efforts to oppose women’s equality, and demonizing LGBTQ+, immigrant and minority communities.
“It is a relief to finally have a speaker of the House, especially with another government shutdown deadline looming. However, we are deeply troubled by Rep. Johnson’s career, which has been defined by his efforts to undermine democracy and roll back hard-won civil and human rights,” said Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the SPLC Action Fund. “His election as speaker is disappointing. We should have a speaker who works to unite our nation, not divide it.”
“We urge Rep. Johnson to lead the House of Representatives in solving many of our nation’s issues such as reducing poverty and expanding access to health care, education and voting for all. We will be watchful and vigilant, working with our allies and community-based partners to challenge policies that target communities on the margins and undermine our democracy,” Huang stated.
Johnson has been vocal in his contempt for the LGBTQ+ community and authored legislation rolling back their rights, particularly during state efforts to ban marriage equality. He has actively opposed efforts by student advocates to discourage youth bullying and has asked Amazon to remove its ban on dangerous conversion therapy books.
Johnson also opposed funding for immigration and refugee assistance. Johnson’s embrace of dangerous anti-immigrant conspiracy theories and false conspiracies about our elections have been a central part of his effort to build a career demonizing communities at the margins and working to remove their rights under the law.
About the SPLC Action Fund
SPLC Action Fund is a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people. SPLC Action Fund is the 501(c)(4) affiliate organization to the Southern Poverty Law Center. For more information, visit www.splcactionfund.org.