Mike Johnson’s wife runs counselling service comparing homosexuality to incest

The US House’s newly elected speaker’s wife runs a counselling business which compares homosexuality to incest and bestiality, according to official documents.

Republican House speaker Mike Johnson’s wife of over two decades, Kelly Johnson, runs an evangelical counselling service, Onward Christian Counselling Services, which practises “biblically-based pastoral counselling” for individuals, couples and families.

The company’s website, which has since been removed from the internet, promoted a number of socially conservative family values while claiming to provide a “life-changing process of personal discovery, growth, and genuine restoration.”

In her about section, Kelly is described as a “licensed pastoral counselor” who promotes “the insituttion of marriage and traditional family values.” It also details her history as an anti-abortion advocate and speaker.

A 2017 operating agreement uncovered by HuffPost, which lays out the corporation’s bylaws, makes a number of right-wing asserations around LGBTQ+ people and abortion care.

Under its section on marriage and sexuality, the agreement purports that marriage is only between a man and a woman and must be “sanctioned by God.”

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“We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other,” it continued.

“We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.”

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It then goes on to compare homosexuality and “bisexual conduct” to bestiality, incest and adultery. It also makes similiar comparisons towards trans and non-binary individuals.

“We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the company, and to provide a biblical role model to the clients and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the company in any capacity should abide by and agree to this statement on marriage and sexuality.”

Mike Johnson urged to address his anti-LGBTQ+ history

Since being selected to chair the position on 25 October (Wednesday), Johnson has been heavily pressured to address his litany of anti-LGBTQ+ comments while in government.

During an interview with Sean Hannity, the Louisiana Republican claimed he “doesn’t even remember” his well-documented anti-LGBTQ+ vitriol.

Despite this, Johnson has been making comments against the LGBTQ+ community as recently as June 2023 during an episode of the Truth Be Told podcast, which he co-hosts with his wife, where he referred to trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney as “real sick stuff.”

Johnson also has a history of opposing same-sex marriage even after its nationwide legalisation. In a 2004 opinion piece, he described same-sex couples as “inherently unnatural” and “harmful and costly for everyone.”

In the same piece, he also compared homosexual relationships to paedophilia.

In a statement following his selection for House speaker, the National Black Justice Coalition said it “strongly condemned” his appointment to the position, citing his anti-LGBTQ+ stance among several other reasons.

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“Johnson’s record and opposition to critical civil rights and LGBTQ+ protections speak to his inability to lead the House in prioritising public-policy investments that increase opportunities and improve life outcomes for a country that continued to grow in diversity,” the statement reads.

“An anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ+ elected leader should not be third in line to the presidency.”

Democrat Mark Pocan shared a similarly disappointed statement on the appointment of Johnson to speaker, saying the House had a chance to elect a speaker that would “move America forward,” but instead caved to “extreme MAGA Republicans.”

“The House has already taken more than 10 anti-equality votes this Congress,” Pocan continued. “By electing Mike Johnson – a vehement opponent of LGBTQI+ equality – as speaker, his supporters have signalled they want these attacks against our community to continue.”

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