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Woodhull’s Statement on Mike Johnson’s Appointment as Speaker of the House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — November 6, 2023 — Washington, DC

Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson is now officially the 56th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. And we at the Woodhull Freedom Foundation are now officially joining the chorus of outrage at his deplorable track record on human rights.

Before he was elected to the Louisiana state legislature in 2014, Johnson was notably a senior legal counsel and spokesperson for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a far-right Christian legal organization which is designated as a hate group. In his work at the ADF and in Congress, Johnson has dedicated himself to working against abortion rights and LGBTQ+ rights.

Eroding our human right to abortion seems to be a personal passion for Johnson, which has earned him an A+ rating from anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. 

  • While at ADF, Johnson fought to shut down abortion clinics and defended Louisiana laws restricting abortion.
  • Since becoming a member of Congress in 2017, Johnson has co-sponsored at least three bills aimed at banning abortion nationwide and criminalizing physicians who perform abortions.
  • Johnson believes that abortion is to blame for school shootings (lest we forget, he blames teaching evolution for mass shootings, too). He also believes that abortion is to blame for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Johnson’s passion for human rights violations doesn’t stop at abortion. He also has worked tirelessly to deny LGBTQ+ people basic protections. 

  • Johnson wrote an op-ed arguing that states have “legitimate grounds” to criminalize gay sex.
  • Johnson provided legal advice to a conversion therapy organization. He told a radio host, “Homosexual behavior is something you do; it’s not something that you are.” (Confoundingly, he also believes that “homosexual behavior” was responsible in part for the fall of Rome.)
  • While at the ADF, Johnson defended a statewide same-sex marriage ban in Louisiana. He also filed suit “against a New Orleans law that provided benefits to same-sex partners of city employees,” claiming that supporting gay rights is akin to allowing pedophilia.
  • Last year, Johnson voted against a bill codifying same-sex and interracial marriages.

Johnson’s staunch anti-LGBTQ+ position is also pro-censorship.

  • Johnson introduced a bill that has been described as a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill to block the use of federal money to “develop, implement, facilitate, or fund any sexually oriented program, event, or literature” for kids under 10. Thankfully, it never got a floor vote.

To be clear, Johnson’s career history is abhorrent, and his assumption of more power as Speaker is incredibly dangerous. The Woodhull Freedom Foundation unequivocally denounces Johnson’s attacks on our human rights, particularly our right to sexual freedom.


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