After three weeks of House Republican infighting to select a new speaker to replace ousted U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the GOP majority voted U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) to take up the gavel Wednesday.
Johnson, who received 220 votes, three more than required to be elected speaker, has a long record of opposition to LGBTQ equal rights and holds pro-life anti-choice views
He is a longtime supporter of former President Donald Trump, who during the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, expressed solidarity with the rioters who invaded the building that morning and promised to take their efforts to Congress later in the day.
“We must fight for election integrity, the constitution and the preservation of our republic! It will be my honor to help lead that fight in the Congress today,” Johnson tweeted.
Johnson led the amicus brief signed by more than 100 House Republicans in support of a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, seeking to invalidate the 2020 election results in four swing states won by President Joe Biden: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
He is vice chairman of the Republican conference, an assistant whip for House Republicans, a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Armed Services Committee and a member and former chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
Axios reported the team of former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a driving force of the House Jan. 6 committee and an outspoken Trump critic, released old videos highlighting Johnson’s involvement, as well as a quote in the New York Times that called him “the most important architect of the Electoral College objections,” NBC reports.
Johnson previously served as a senior attorney and spokesperson for the Alliance Defending Freedom and continues to act as an ADF allied attorney in Congress. The ADF is a self-labeled “legal alliance of Christian attorneys” with a history of funding and representing cases targeting LGBTQ people, youth and protections.
It is listed as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which also notes ADF’s efforts against abortion access.
While an attorney at ADF, Johnson received the “Family, Faith and Freedom Award” from the Family Research Council, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group.
While serving at ADF, Johnson filed preemptive lawsuits in nine states in 2014 on behalf of Christian vendors who objected to marriage equality. Johnson also led the ADF’s campaign against GLSEN’s anti-bullying Day Of Silence.
Prior to his election to the House, Johnson served in the Louisiana State Legislature from February 2015 to January 2017, where in 2015 he introduced the Marriage and Conscience Act a virulently anti-LGBTQ bill that would have explicitly allowed discrimination against same-sex couples.
In 2018, he joined in with anti-LGBTQ former TV actor and evangelical Kirk Cameron in Cameron’s attempt to persuade Louisiana lawmakers to allow Christian prayer in the state’s public schools.
In December 2022 Johnson introduced a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
In June 2023, the now speaker-elect posted a since-deleted tweet claiming that it was illegal to fly a rainbow flag at the White House.
Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.