Christine Johnson
Christine Johnson

COLUMBIA — After a months-long search, the board of SC Equality has announced it has hired a new executive director.

Christine Johnson, 41, will join the organization on July 1. She comes from Utah, where she served two terms as an openly lesbian member of the state House of Representatives. She represented Salt Lake City and Park City.

Johnson sponsored pro-equality legislation while in Utah, including bills to eliminate anti-LGBT employment discrimination and discrimination in housing. She also sponsored a resolution to overturn the anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy.

According to a press release, Johnson is also a former board member of Equality Utah and the Rape Recovery Center, vice-chair of Stonewall Democrats, vice chair of the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission and founder of BRIDGE, a community-based LGBT outreach organization.

“We are thrilled that our national search yielded strong candidates for the position and even more excited to have Christine join us at SC Equality,” Dean Pierce, SC Equality board chair, said in the release. “We are confident she will build on the tremendous foundation of the past year and take the organization to a new level.”

Johnson, a South Carolina native, said she is happy to return “home.”

“The opportunity to return to my home state of South Carolina was irresistible,” Johnson said in the release. “South Carolina is ripe with the possibility of advancing equal protections and educating the non-GLBT community about the value of rejecting discrimination and embracing equality. I look forward to working with the South Carolina Equality team and creating change throughout the state.”

After two years at the helm of SC Equality, former executive director C. Ray Drew stepped down in February. He’s taken a job as executive director of the ACLU of Colorado.

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.