Human Rights Campaign Condemns Senator Ron Johnson for Anti-Trans Statements

by HRC Staff

"Sen. Johnson is Using His Position to Bully and Stigmatize Some of Our State’s Most Vulnerable Young People"

WISCONSIN — The Human Rights Campaign today condemned anti-trans statements made by Sen. Ron Johnson this week on a radio program, where the senator repeated harmful misinformation about the standard of gender-affirming care for minors and further claimed that “transgenderism” is something pushed on children by their teachers.

HRC’s Wisconsin State Director, Wendy Strout issued the following statement in response:

Trans and nonbinary youth face heartbreaking hate and discrimination that puts their mental health and lives at risk. Ensuring that children feel safe and accepted should be a legislator’s first responsibility, and instead Sen. Johnson is using his position to bully and stigmatize some of our state’s most vulnerable young people. It is clearer than ever before that Ron Johnson does not deserve to be in public office.”

This October, Sen. Johnson scored just 7 out of 100 on HRC’s 2022 Congressional Scorecard, compared to fellow Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin’s 100 percent score. Sen. Johnson has an extensive history of making derogatory statements against LGBTQ+ people, and this year he back-tracked on his support for the Respect for Marriage Act. Johnson's efforts to malign and attack trans youth are part of a larger strategy being pushed by extremist candidates across the country — who are seizing on anti-trans messaging as they make their final pitch to voters in the remaining days of the election cycle.

The Human Rights Campaign has endorsed Sen. Johnson’s opponent, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, and is running a state-wide campaign to ensure Johnson is voted out.

HRC’s Commitment to Wisconsin

HRC has had staff and resources on the ground in Wisconsin since 2017. During the 2020 election cycle, HRC staff on the ground recruited 5,800 individual volunteers nationwide who completed 28,500 hours of voter contact in more than 2,650 volunteer events. HRC engaged in robust digital and online GOTV efforts, including sending over 2.7 million person-to-person text messages, a massive increase from 2018 when approximately 500,000 texts were sent. HRC sent over 2.5 million mail pieces, had over 930,000 phone conversations with voters, and engaged more than 200,000 voters through HRC’s voter dashboard.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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