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New US House Speaker Mike Johnson has a long anti-LGBTIQA+ history

US politician Mike Johnson was elected 56th Speaker of the US House of Representatives earlier this week. The 51-year-old conservative politician has a long history of opposing LGBTIQA+ rights.

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The Republican party has been in disarray since it sacked former Speaker Kevin McCarthy on 3rd October. It was the first time in US history a Speaker of the House has been the subject of a motion to vacate, and the push to oust McCarthy came from within his own party.

The Speaker of the House is one of the most powerful positions in US politics and is second in the line of succession after the Vice-President.

After a prolonged negotiation the Republicans have elected James Michael ‘Mike’ Johnson to the position. He’s been a congressman for four terms and hails from Louisiana.

New speaker has a long history of opposing LGBTIQA+ rights

Prior to entering politics in 2017 Johnson was senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, now knows as the Alliance Defending Freedom. The right-wing organisation is focused on pushing a Christian agenda in schools, outlawing abortion, and curtailing the rights of LGBTIQA+ people.

In 2003 Johnson wrote an amicus brief opposing the legal principle that the state should not be making laws about people’s private sexual activities, while also voicing support for laws in Texas that outlawed sodomy.

Johnson has previously called homosexuality “sinful”, “destructive”, “inherently unnatural” and a “dangerous lifestyle” and has argued that support for LGBTIQA+ people would encourage pedophilia.

Between 2003 and 2004 he wrote a series of articles for a local newspaper where he claimed people who were homosexual had the ability to change their “abnormal” lifestyles. He also claimed that allowing same-sex couples to marry would put the “entire democratic system in jeopardy” and “chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic”.

The new speaker has also opposed anti-bullying initiatives claiming their real purpose is to make homosexuality acceptable to society. In 2019 Mike Johnson spoke out against Amazon’s decision to remove books that promote conversion therapy practices.

Mike Johnson has defended creationism and promotes ‘covenant marriages’

During his legal career he also defended Ark Encounter theme park who required all their employees to sign an agreement that stated they did not believe in evolution and affirm a belief that the universe was created 10,000 years ago by God. In 2016 he delivered a church sermon where he claimed the teaching of evolution had led to mass shootings in the USA.

Johnson is an advocate of covenant marriage, a legal distinction that is available in three US states. HIs home state of Louisiana was the first to introduce the laws in 1997.

It allows couples to choose to attend pre-marriage counselling and then sign a prenuptial agreement that limits the grounds upon which they may later seek a divorce. It removes the option of no-fault divorce and requires couples to show that their spouse has broken their vows by adultery, being convicted of a felony, committing sexually abuse and being engaged in substance abuse.

Johnson and his wife Kelly are in a covenant marriage. The couple host a podcast together in which they discuss public affairs from a Christian perspective.

Wife’s counselling company under scrutiny for claims about homosexuality.

In a new report The Huffington Post has revealed that Kelly Johnson runs a Christian counselling service which compares homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia.

Onward Christian Counseling Services state that their beliefs are that sex is offensive to God if it is not between a man and a woman married to each other. A document on their website puts being gay, bisexual or transgender in the same category as someone who has sex with animals or family members, calling all of these examples of “sexual immorality.”

“We believe and the Bible teaches that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God,” the eight-page business document claims.

OIP Staff


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGEDinfo@discharged.asn.au / discharged.asn.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au


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