SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY – Last week, Republican Mike Lawler “proudly” voted for Mike Johnson to be Speaker of the House. Mike Johnson has a deplorable history of supporting anti-LGBTQ+ policies, including criminalizing gay sex and calling homosexuality “inherently unnatural” and a “dangerous lifestyle.” Today, Mondaire Jones, who made history in 2021 as the nation’s first openly gay Black member of Congress, alongside the Human Rights Campaign, LGBTQ Victory Fund, and Equality PAC, strongly condemned Mike Lawler for his support of a right-wing extremist as Speaker of the House. With votes like this, it’s no wonder Roll Call and Daily Kos have named Mike Lawler the second-most vulnerable Republican in the House.
“It is absolutely despicable that Mike Lawler voted for Mike Johnson to be Speaker,” Mondaire Jones said. “Mike Johnson built a legal career in Louisiana opposing the basic civil rights and civil liberties of the LGBTQ+ community. Last fall, he even introduced a national “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Johnson is an election denier who was an architect of House Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and he is an extremist who supports a national abortion ban and wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. Lawler’s vote makes clear that while he likes to masquerade as a moderate on television, he is a reliable vote for the extreme MAGA Republicans. Lawler’s vote for Johnson does not represent the values of the Lower Hudson Valley, and I am determined to oust him from Congress next November and give New Yorkers the representation they deserve. It’s time to end Republican chaos in Washington and get back to work to lower costs for Lower Hudson Valley residents, protect Social Security and Medicare, stop Republicans from banning abortion, and get assault weapons off our streets.”
“Mike Lawler’s vote for the most anti-equality Speaker in history is a stain on his already troubling record and yet another example of how out-of-touch he is with the people of NY-17,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “Speaker Johnson is an election-denying, anti-LGBTQ+ extremist who has built a career on trying to erase our community from society—and Lawler gave his agenda a stamp of approval last week. The people of NY-17 deserve a leader who reflects their values, not a politician willing to hand the keys of government to the MAGA fringe.”
“Mike Johnson prides himself on discrimination and hatred for LGBTQ+ people, dedicating most of his career to opposing our basic rights. He introduced a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill, is the current sponsor of three national abortion bans, is against marriage equality and wants to ban lifesaving gender-affirming care. By casting his ballot for Rep. Johnson, Representative Mike Lawler has made his anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice views very clear. Polling shows voters favor pro-equality and pro-choice legislation—these extremist votes will undoubtedly have consequences on Election Day,” Sean Meloy, Vice President of Political Programs at the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said.
“The House GOP has not only elected as Speaker one of the most extreme members of Congress but also one of the most bigoted. And Mike Lawler’s vote to elect Mike Johnson proves that he is not the moderate he portrays himself to be. If Mike Lawler was interested in standing up for civil rights and individual freedoms, he would have flatly rejected Johnson’s nomination. Instead, he paved the way for Johnson, leading to the most homophobic Speaker ever elected in history. New Yorkers can’t trust Lawler to fight for them. That is why it is critical we elect Mondaire Jones to Congress,” Jeff Larivee, Executive Director of Equality PAC, stated.
Jones and Lawler may face off in one of the most competitive races of the 2024 cycle, but first Jones has to face off with MaryAnn Carr and Liz Whitmer Gereghty in the Democratic primary. Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball all rate the New York congressional race as a “toss-up.”