Speaker of the House Mike Johnson

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, Oct. 25, elected Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House, and LGBTQ groups quickly denounced Johnson as a homophobic extremist.

The House Equality Caucus pointed out these disturbing facts about Speaker Johnson:
• Before becoming a member of Congress, Johnson worked as a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, a known anti-LGBTQ hate group.
• Rep. Johnson has introduced several anti-LGBTQ bills at both the state and federal levels, including a state license to discriminate bill in Louisiana and a federal “Don’t Say LGBTQ” bill.
• He has consistently voted against pro-LGBTQ bills, such as the Equality Act and Respect for Marriage Act, and for anti-equality bills, such as the federal trans and intersex sports ban. He is also a cosponsor of several anti-equality bills introduced this Congress, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s federal gender-affirming care ban.
• He is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitution and Limited Government, and as chair this Congress, he held a hearing in July attacking gender-affirming care.

“The House had the opportunity to elect a Speaker of the House who could lead in a bipartisan manner to move America forward. Instead, extreme MAGA Republicans elected a speaker who has dedicated his career to attacking LGBTQI+ people and pushing an anti-equality agenda,” said Equality Caucus Chair Mark Pocan. “The House has already taken more than 10 anti-equality votes this Congress. By electing Mike Johnson — a vehement opponent of LGBTQI+ equality — as speaker, his supporters have signaled they want these attacks against our community to continue.”

In addition, Johnson has called “the homosexual lifestyle … morally wrong and physically dangerous,” according to a press release sent by GLSEN. He also introduced the “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act” which prohibits federal funds to develop, implement, facilitate or fund any sexually-oriented program, event or literature.

“Once again, House Republicans have shown that Donald Trump is their master and they will do whatever he orders them to do,” said People for the American Way President Svante Myrick. “This time, the GOP has obediently elected hard-right, MAGA Rep. Mike Johnson as speaker. Johnson is an election denier who has indulged in some of the most noxious, racist, white nationalist conspiracy theories out there. He’s on record raging about immigration and embracing nationalist ‘great replacement’ and ‘invasion’ rhetoric. He supports a national abortion ban and opposes equal rights for LGBTQ+ Americans. Instead of electing someone like Johnson who is so out of step with the American people, House Republicans should have listened to voices of reason and pursued a power-sharing agreement that might have allowed the House to get the serious work of this country done.”

“I would be hard-pressed to think of a worse member to be elected speaker of the house, not simply for LGBTQ communities, but for the American people,” said National LGBTQ Task Force Policy Director Allen Morris. “Many of my family members have resided in the 4th Congressional Ddistrict of Louisiana for decades, so I know from personal experience his track record on civil rights and minority issues is clear and stark as our community continues to find itself under attack.”

— David Taffet