Election Denial, “Sexual Anarchy,” Noah’s Ark: All the Mike Johnson Details We Regret to Inform You About


On October 25, after several weeks that saw dysfunction, chaos, humiliation, and anonymous threats to at least one lawmaker’s wife, Republicans finally elected a Speaker of the House to succeed Kevin McCarthy: Mike Johnson, a representative from Louisiana who has the distinction of being the least experienced Speaker in more than a century.

At the time of Johnson’s accession, a lot of Americans likely had no idea who he was; actual Republican senator Susan Collins, for one, told a reporter she didn’t know Johnson but planned to remedy that by googling him. And if you weren’t familiar with Johnson, you might’ve assumed that that was maybe even a good thing—that he was just a quiet Republican who hadn’t gotten wrapped up in the insanity plaguing the GOP over the last seven or so years. He didn’t have the name recognition of, say, Jim Jordan or Matt Gaetz, but perhaps that simply spoke to the fact that he wasn’t leading a series of absurd hearings in an attempt to take down Joe Biden; or bragging about being so devoted to Donald Trump that he answered his phone calls during sex. Maybe, you might have thought, he wasn’t someone you’d have to constantly worry about re: undermining democracy or trying to take away people’s rights.

Unfortunately, that is not the case with Johnson, who may not have been well known prior to being given one of the most powerful jobs in government but is very much someone whose extremist views and actions should keep you up at night.

Herein, a running list of the absolute most WTF things the new Speaker has said and done on everything from the 2020 election to abortion to LGBTQ+ rights and more.


Johnson is proudly antiabortion. When Roe v. Wade was overturned last year, he called it “a great, joyous occasion,” later writing, “We will get the number of abortions [in Louisiana] to ZERO!!” As an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, now known as the Alliance Defending Freedom, he worked on efforts to shut down abortion clinics in the state. In Congress, he cosponsored legislation that would have banned abortions at about six weeks of pregnancy, i.e., a time when many people do not even know they’re pregnant. He’s beloved by the antiabortion organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which has given him an A+ rating. In 2015, he blamed school shootings on abortion, telling writer Irin Carmon, “When you break up the nuclear family, when you tell a generation of people that life has no value, no meaning, that it’s expendable, then you do wind up with school shooters.”

In some real Handmaid’s Tale shit, he declared during a House hearing that if women were forced to have more children, a.k.a. “able-bodied” workers, there would be more funding for Social Security and Medicare:

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On at least one occasion, he declared that doctors who perform abortions should be sentenced to “hard labor”:

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Oh, and like many antiabortion zealots, Johnson doesn’t seem to like contraception either.

LGBTQ+ rights

Hoo boy, where to start? Here are some things that Johnson has said about LGBTQ+ people, same-sex marriage, and gay sex between consenting adults:

In his work as an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, Johnson also argued in court that same-sex couples should not receive domestic partnership benefits, and officially opposed the Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalize gay sex between consenting adults. In the Louisiana House of Representatives, he proposed a bill that critics say would have made it easier to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. (In response, he claimed he was not a “bigot,” adding: “I know that I brought this bill for the right reason.”) Meanwhile, in Congress, he introduced a national bill seemingly modeled after Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law; voted against the 2022 bipartisan bill to codify gay marriage; and last year cosponsored a bill making it a crime to provide gender-affirming care to anyone under 18, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics backing such care.

“I would be hard-pressed to think of a worse member to be elected Speaker of the House,” Allen Morris, policy director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, told The 19th.

Separation of church and state

If you guessed that Johnson doesn’t believe in it, you guessed right. In April—as in, just a few months before he was elected Speaker—the congressman railed against what he referred to as the “so-called separation of church and state,” saying, “The founders wanted to protect the church from an encroaching state, not the other way around.”

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In 2018, Johnson argued for prayer in public schools.


In addition to blaming abortion for mass shootings, Johnson has also claimed that the teaching of evolution has played a part. In a 2016 sermon, he told the audience, “People say, ‘How can a young person go into their schoolhouse and open fire on their classmates?’ Because we’ve taught a whole generation—a couple generations now—of Americans, that there’s no right or wrong, that it’s about survival of the fittest, and [that] you evolve from the primordial slime. Why is that life of any sacred value? Because there’s nobody sacred to whom it’s owed. None of this should surprise us.”

In related news, a year prior, Johnson filed a lawsuit for an organization to receive tax subsidies to build a Noah’s Ark–focused theme park in Kentucky. “When the Ark Project sails, everybody will benefit,” he wrote in an op-ed, “even those who are stubbornly trying to sink it.” The Ark Encounter is operated by a fundamentalist Christian group that believes in creationism.


Where does Johnson, not exactly a man of science, land on global warming? Well, per The New York Times:

Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana, the newly elected House Speaker, has questioned climate science, opposed clean energy, and received more campaign contributions from oil and gas companies than from any other industry last year. Even as other Republican lawmakers increasingly accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is dangerously heating the planet, the unanimous election of Mr. Johnson on Wednesday suggests that his views may not be out of step with the rest of his party.

A former constitutional lawyer, he does not sit on committees that decide the fate of major energy issues. But he has consistently voted against dozens of climate bills and amendments, opposing legislation that would require companies to disclose their risks from climate change and bills that would reduce leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas wells. He has voted for measures that would cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency.

In 2017, Johnson opined: “The climate is changing, but the question is, is it being caused by natural cycles over the span of the earth’s history? Or is it changing because we drive SUVs? I don’t believe in the latter. I don’t think that’s the primary driver.”

The 2020 election

By now you’ve likely heard that Johnson spent a significant amount of time and energy trying to overturn the 2020 election—an effort that included leading the amicus brief signed by more than 100 GOP lawmakers that asked the Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Johnson also objected to the certification of Biden’s win on January 6; his arguments for doing so were adopted by a significant number of Republicans, leading the Times to call him “the most important architect of the Electoral College objections.” One day prior, per Politico, he told colleagues, “This is a very weighty decision. All of us have prayed for God’s discernment. I know I’ve prayed for each of you individually,” before pressing them to oppose the Electoral College results. Oh, and he was a Dominion truther:

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Where does Johnson stand on the 2020 election now? Before the floor vote, he refused to answer a reporter’s question about the matter, and after officially becoming Speaker, he did just the same:

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Not really the kind of endorsement you want these days

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Thank God the GOP is now free to get back to the important, not-at-all-made-up issues

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