Mike Johnson once blamed homosexuality for the fall of the Roman Empire

Mike Johnson

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson once credited the fall of the Roman Empire to homosexuality.

It’s just the latest concerning discovery of many since Johnson was elected as a successor to ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Although Johnson has insisted in recent interviews that he couldn’t be a hateful person because he’s a Christian and that he “loves all people regardless of their lifestyle choices”, a quick flick through his public comments on the LGBTQ+ community, among other issues like abortion and climate change, will tell you otherwise.

Mike Johnson speaks into a microphone during a House interview.
Mike Johnson once credited the fall of the Roman Empire to homosexuality. (Getty)

A new investigation from CNN’s KFile reaffirmed rampant reports of Johnson’s history of homophobic comments and calls for restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights.

Among their findings, KFile uncovered audio of Johnson pushing an odd pseudohistorical theory that homosexuality caused the fall of the Roman Empire.

In the clip, Johnson is heard saying: “Many historians, those who are objective, would look back and recognise and give some credit to the fall of Rome to, not only the deprivation of the society and the loss of morals, but also to the rampant homosexual behaviour that was condoned by the society.”

You may like to watch

The investigation also found that, before he began his political career, Johnson was a legal advisor for a company called Exodus International, which offered deeply controversial conversion therapy programs to LGBTQ+ individuals through religious and counselling methods.

Mike Johnson
Johnson pushed an odd pseudohistorical theory that homosexuality caused the fall of the Roman Empire. (Fox News)

Before the group eventually shut down in 2013, Johnson collaborated with Exodus to promote an anti-gay event aimed at teens called the “Day of Truth”.

The “Day of Truth” event held in 2005, acted as a counterprotest the “Day of Silence” – an event that saw school students go silent to bring awareness to LGBTQ+ targetted bullying.

In media coverage from the event, Johnson claimed that the gay lifestyle was a “dangerous” one, and that those who identified as “LGBTQ+” could change if they wanted to.

“Our race, the size of our feet, the colour of our eyes, these are things we’re born with and we cannot change,” he is heard saying.

“What these adult advocacy groups like the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network are promoting is a type of behaviour.

“Homosexual behaviour is something that you do, it’s not something that you are.”

Republicans made their fourth pick in just two weeks to replace the ousted speaker of the US House of Representatives, with Louisiana's Mike Johnson winning an internal party vote just hours after previous nominee, Majority Whip Tom Emmer announced his withdrawal.
Johnson has said that he can’t be hateful, because of his Christian values. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Johnson had also acted as legal council for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADL), which is an SPLC-designated hate group.

In this role, he authored the opposition to the Supreme Court ruling that overturned the criminalisation of homosexual activity between consenting adults in the early 2000s.

Johnson further pushed his anti-gay views in a 2004 column for a Louisiana newspaper, in which he described homosexuality as “inherently unnatural” and “ultimately harmful and costly for everyone.”

He also noted that if society allowed for “dangerous” homosexual relationships, it would open doors for “every deviant group”.

“There will be no legal basis to deny a bisexual the right to marry a partner of each sex, or a person to marry his pet,” he wrote.

As well as being anti-gay, Mike Johnson is also opposed to Roe v Wade and supports a national abortion ban, promotes covenant marriages – under which divorce is much more difficult to obtain – and supported Trump’s 2017 executive order to ban immigration from seven majority Muslim countries.

Please login or register to comment on this story.