speaking out

Queer Congresswoman Angie Craig has a blunt message for new Speaker Mike Johnson

Republican Representatives unanimously voted for a new speaker of the US House yesterday. They elected Mike Johnson [above left], a hard-right MAGA lawmaker. He gained three votes more than the 217 threshold to take office.

Johnson has consistently opposed any advancement of LGBTQ+ rights. He was previously an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), filing lawsuits against same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, and same-sex marital benefits.

In one old editorial he wrote, Johnson called homosexuality “inherently unnatural”. In another, he said, “Your race, creed, and sex are what you are, while homosexuality and cross-dressing are things you do … This is a free country, but we don’t give special protections for every person’s bizarre choices.”

Johnson has represented Louisiana’s 4th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2017.

Unsurprisingly, Democratic Representatives voted against Johnson. All 209 of them voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the party’s House leader.

As she got up to vote, and no doubt mindful of Johnson’s views on same-sex marriage, Minnesota’s Angie Craig [top right] took the opportunity to wish her wife a happy 15th wedding anniversary.

In a tweet, Craig warned Johnson to enjoy his time as speaker while it lasts. Given how easily Kevin McCarthy was removed from office, Johnson can’t afford to get too comfortable.

“Mike Johnson spent his legal career fighting against same-sex marriage, adoption and marital benefits. Now he’s brought that fight to Congress. Proud to vote against him on my 15th anniversary with my wife, Cheryl.

“@RepMikeJohnson, enjoy it while it lasts – it won’t be long.”

Erick Sorenson

Craig was not the only queer lawmaker to respond to Johnson’s victory. Erick Sorenson (D-IL) posted a photo of himself and his partner, saying, “The House of Representatives just elected a Speaker who doesn’t believe people like us should have the right to be married. Neighbors in #IL17 believe otherwise. Bigotry and hate have no place in our nation’s government.”

Robert Garcia

Robert Garcia (D-CA) labeled “MAGA Mike” an extremist on anti-LGBTQ+ rights and abortion rights.

Bacca Balint

Becca Balint, a lesbian Democratic Rep. from Vermont, also highlighted Johnson’s stance on abortion. He has championed imprisonment with “hard labor” for anyone who carries out an abortion procedure.

Ritchie Torres (D-NY) also slammed Johnson’s extremism.

Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) listed many of Johnson’s attempts to overturn or vote against LGBTQ+ rights. In a statement, Takano said, “Mike Johnson is a proud and fervent election denier, a friend of the extreme religious right, and a climate change denier. He has voted twice against the PACT Act to deny toxin-exposed veterans of the healthcare they have earned. He has fiercely advocated against the civil liberties of LGBTQ+ people.

“Mike Johnson has weaponized his committee position to target transgender individuals and introduce legislation to suppress sharing LGBTQ+ identities. He is staunchly anti-choice and would like to impose a nationwide ban on reproductive choice. He will no doubt remain committed to those divisive values and bring untold harm to the American people now that he has been elevated to Speaker.”

One out-gay member of Congress votes for Johnson

There was only one gay figure in Congress who welcomed the election of Mike Johnson. Can you guess who?

Yes, scandal-hit fabulist George Santos (R-NY) proudly voted for Johnson. In a statement, Santos said afterward, “Speaker Johnson embodies GOP values. His fervor and dedication are unmatched, making him an incredibly promising addition to our ranks. Johnson has consistently put people above politics, demonstrating a commitment to the American public that is truly commendable. I was happy to cast my vote to make him speaker and I look forward to putting Americans first under his helm.”

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