House Speaker Mike Johnson ‘applauded’ idea of making gay sex illegal

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.

House Speaker Mike Johnson allegedly “applauded” suggestions to make gay sex illegal in the US, and reportedly said calling for a ban would not be “radical”.

The new House Speaker aired his homophobic view in 2022, despite insisting he simply couldn’t be a hateful person because he’s a Christian.

His comments were in support of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas’ suggestion that the court could revisit its 2015 decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges – which legalised same-sex marriage.

Thomas argued that the court should return to the case, following 2022’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which struck down the 40-year-old ruling in Roe v. Wade, thus ending the constitutional right to abortion in the US. 

The judge included a footnote in the 2022 decision, asserting that by striking down the legal basis for Roe, the court had called into question every other decision using the same reasoning.

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Clarence Thomas went even further, writing that the court “should reconsider” its rulings in three landmark cases: Griswold v. Connecticut – which established the right to contraception in 1965, Lawrence v. Texas – which legalised same-sex sexual activity and branded “sodomy laws” unconstitutional, in 2003, and Obergefell v. Hodges.

In an audio recording uncovered by CNN this week, Johnson, while speaking to right-wing commentator Todd Starnes on 24 June, 2022 – the same day the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade – said that what Thomas was “calling for is not radical”.

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He added: “In fact, it’s the opposite of that. We finally have a majority of originalists on the court, and all that means is that they want to fairly interpret and apply the constitution as it’s written, as the framers intended. 

“That’s the basis of our whole system of government and we have to get back to that. That’s what [Thomas] stands for and we applaud that.” 

Mike Johnson’s history of anti-LGBTQ+ actions

In the audio, Johnson also spoke about his time as a senior attorney for anti-LGBTQ+ group Alliance Defending Freedom, prior to being elected to public office.

During this time, he campaigned against same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption and same-sex marital benefits. 

“We’ve been sort of working against these activist courts for years,” the Speaker went on to say. 

On 3 October, speaking to the World Prayer Network, he claimed that America’s culture had become “so dark and depraved that it almost seems irredeemable”, and that young people identifying as LGBTQ+ were to blame.

Johnson is even on record for blaming queer people for the fall of the Roman Empire

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