House speaker Mike Johnson wrote foreword for homophobic conspiracy book

Mike Johnson, pictured walking through a government building.

Republican speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson wrote the introduction to a conspiratorial book that contained homophobic slurs.

A CNN report found that Johnson, who was appointed the 56th House speaker in October, wrote the foreword to a 2022 book – The Revivalist Manifesto by political blogger Scott McKay.

The book primarily justifies the debunked ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theory – which centres around the claim that top Democratic officials were involved in a paedophile ring – while promoting other conspiracies and hoaxes.

It also falsely implies, without evidence, that Supreme Court justice John Roberts was subjected to blackmail and was connected to notorious sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Among the baseless accusations and promotions of debunked conspiracies, McKay uses multiple homophobic slurs when referring to transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, who is gay. The book also insults poorer voters, calling them “unsophisticated and susceptible to government dependency”.

In his foreword, Johnson writes a glowed endorsement of the book and its far-right message, saying that author McKay “presents a valuable and timely contribution” to political discussion with the text.

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“He has managed here to articulate well what millions of conscientious, freedom-loving Americans are sensing,” Johnson continues.

The book repeatedly attacks Buttigieg in a way that references his sexuality, calling him “openly, and obnoxiously gay” and a “queer choice” for the Biden cabinet, and accusing the transportation secretary of having “queer sanctimony”.

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In another passage, McKay simply refers to him as “Gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg”.

Not only did the newly appointed House speaker write the foreword, reportedly as a “favour to a friend”, he also dedicated an episode of his podcast to McKay, who was a guest on the show.

During the episode, Johnson says: “I obviously believe in the product, or I wouldn’t have written the foreword. So I endorse the work.” He also referred to McKay as a “dear friend”.

Mike Johnson blamed the fall of the Roman Empire on homosexuality

Johnson has a history of blatantly homophobic rhetoric. In 2022, while serving as vice chair of the House Republican Conference, the devout Christian “applauded” suggestions to make gay sex illegal in the US in an audio recording uncovered by CNN.

He has also said he believes that the fall of the Roman Empire was due in part to homosexuality, saying that it represented the “deprivation of the society and the loss of morals”.

When confronted about his anti-LGBTQ+ views, Johnson claimed that he “loves all people” and “doesn’t even remember” some of the statements he made in the past, despite some of them being made as early as last year.

In endorsing McKay’s book, Johnson not only endorsed homophobia through his approval of its message but racism, too.

When referring to interior secretary Deb Haaland, McKay describes her as “half oppressed” because her mother is Native American and her father is of Norwegian descent.

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McKay also writes that former president Barack Obama’s “chief selling point was that he was Black”.

In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for Mike Johnson said: “The speaker had never read the passages highlighted in the CNN story which he strongly disagrees with. He wrote the foreword as a favour to a friend, supportive of the general theme of the book but not as an endorsement of all the opinions expressed.”

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