New House Speaker Mike Johnson (R -LA) has been outspokenly anti-LGBTQ+ for years before he took the head honcho seat, but according to recent reports he claims he doesn’t remember his homophobic comments.
Johnson has a deep history of homophobia, transphobia and hatefulness toward the LGBTQ+ community in general. He served as a senior attorney and national media spokesman for an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom. Under this role, Johnson filed lawsuits challenging same-sex marriage, adoption rights, and marital benefits.
As an evangelical Christian, Johnson has directly spoken out against LGBTQ+ people on several occasions. According to the NYT, “In 2004, he called homosexuality an ‘inherently unnatural’ and ‘dangerous lifestyle,’ and he wrote that same-sex marriage is ‘the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic.’”
The following year, the Alliance Defending Freedom launched a campaign to counter the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) annual anti-bullying Day of Silence. At the time, Johnson told NBC News: “‘No one is for bullying and harassment…but that’s cloaking their real message—that homosexuality is good for society.’”
In the two decades since Johnson started his hate campaign, he has introduced incredibly harmful laws as he has gained power. Now holding the most powerful seat in the U.S. In Congress, he poses a huge threat to the LGBTQ+ community.
Last year, Johnson introduced a federal version of the Ron DeSantis ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law which would cut federal funding to libraries, school districts, hospitals, government entities, or other organizations for ‘hosting or promoting any program, event or literature involving sexually-oriented material’” according to LGBTQ Nation. Other harmful legislation Johnson has made attempts to pass while in the Louisiana legislature include the “religious freedom” bill which would allow discrimination against same-sex married couples, and another which would allow clergy members in Louisiana churches to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.
Johnson has openly spoken out against other important issues like climate change, questioning the legitimacy of climate science. He has also sought to expand gun rights throughout the country, and has voted in favor of a national abortion ban.
Needless to say, Johnson has made a career of targeting the LGBTQ+ community, and now he is one of the most powerful figures in the American political system.