NEW YORK CITY, NY – Today’s election of Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) as Speaker of the House places the most anti-LGBTQ+ lawmaker in modern history into an enormously influential position and second in line to the Presidency. If enacted, the radical anti-equality policies championed by the new Speaker would wreak havoc on our country’s economic and business climate.
Newly-elected House Speaker Johnson, the architect of last year’s national “Don’t Say Gay” bill, has called LGBTQ+ taxpayers “inherently unnatural” and termed it a “dangerous lifestyle,” according to reporting by CNN.
Johnson’s home state of Louisiana, which he has represented in the United States Congress since 2017 and beforehand in the state legislature, was ranked 48th in the country – one of the the worst states in the nation – for LGBTQ+ equality on Out Leadership’s 2023 State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index.
Todd Sears, Founder and CEO of Out Leadership, the premier global LGBTQ+ organization harnessing the power of business to drive equality, today released the following statement in reaction to Johnson’s election:
“If enacted, Speaker Johnson’s long history of radical anti-LGBTQ policies would spell economic disaster for the country.
“As we have seen in Florida and other states promoting extreme anti-equality laws, the economic consequences of the discriminatory laws promoted by the newly-elected House Speaker would create a devastating financial impact for our nation’s leading businesses.
“Speaker Johnson’s radical support for banning decades of successful diversity efforts, and even allowing outright discriminatory business practices against LGBTQ+ taxpayers, would wreak havoc on our nation’s economy by exerting unnecessary government interference in the way that American companies conduct business. American business leaders have, across the board, embraced diversity and inclusion initiatives because they are good for business. Anti-equality politicians like Johnson would needlessly squander the might of American industry in the name of hate.
“Louisiana’s dismal score on our 2023 State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index ranks the Speaker’s home state as among the worst in the country for LGBTQ+ access and equality. Louisiana earned a ranking near the bottom as a direct result of extreme policies promoted by Speaker Johnson during his time in the state legislature.
“The more than 600 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced by lawmakers across the nation have caused significant harm to our nation’s youth, our state economies and ultimately the global standing of the United States. The world is watching and Speaker Johnson has shown his views are well removed from the majority of Americans and the business practices of our nation’s leading companies.”
The annual 2023 State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index was released earlier this year on June 1st, 2023.
For interviews with Todd Sears of Out Leadership, please contact Kristofer Eisenla at email@example.com
Despite the more than 600 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced around the country just this year and a vocal minority of politicians pushing their “anti-woke” agenda, the global business community continues to move in the opposite direction. Business research and data consistently demonstrates that companies and individuals are making concrete commitments towards full LGBTQ+ inclusion.
- Out Leadership’s recent Out to Succeed 2.0 survey found that a record number of employees – 80 percent – feel comfortable being out at work, while finding today’s workplace overwhelmingly supportive of LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
- Out Leadership’s Return on Equality ESG Report found nearly all Fortune 100 companies report on their LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts through their ESG and DEI reports, but finds less than half of them are sharing other critical data in their reporting due to lack of standard industry-wide guidance by regulators.
- Out Leadership’s annual OutQUORUM Board Diversity Report: Progress & Possibility showed that between 2022 and 2023, the number of companies on the Nasdaq with LGBTQ+ inclusive board diversity policies increased to 1,871 from 113 – a 1,556% increase.