President Joe Biden’s campaign has ripped into new House Speaker Mike Johnson for his insensitive comments about homosexuality. But in doing so, the move has exposed Biden’s own anti-LGBTQ stance from the past. Here’s the story.
Calling Out the New Speaker
New Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has been elected to replace ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and President Biden’s campaign wasted no time in calling out Johnson for his controversial views on homosexuality.
In a post on the Biden campaign X account, they wrote, “Mike Johnson called for criminalizing gay sex. Johnson called same-sex relations “inherently unnatural” and said it could destroy “the entire democratic system.”
He railed against courts for “closing bedroom doors” and upholding the right to privacy.”
Biden’s Questionable Past
However, the post has also drawn attention to Biden’s own questionable past concerning anti-LGBTQ issues.
While the President is considered an ally or advocate for the LGBTQ community today, the same could not be said during much of his political career.
“They Are Security Risks”
Back in 1973, the now-president talked to gay rights activist Robert Vane about gay people joining the civil service of the military.
“My gut reaction … is that they [homosexuals] are security risks,” he told Vane.
In the 90s
Then, in 1993, Biden voted in support of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, which forced gay members of the military to conceal their sexuality at work.
In 1994, he voted to cut funding for pro-LGBTQ schools.
The Defense of Marriage Act
In ‘96, he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by then-President Bill Clinton.
The bill stopped federal benefits for same-sex couples living in states with legal gay marriage.
2008 VP Debates
But it wasn’t just the last century – Biden’s anti-LGBTQ stance continued well into the 2000s, shown most famously during the 2008 vice-presidential debates when he emphatically denied supporting gay marriage.
“No,” he said. “Barack Obama and I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that.”
‘Meet the Press’ Interview
Just four years later, Biden’s public perspective on LGBTQ issues began to change.
In 2012, during an NBC’s ‘Meet the Press interview, he made an unscripted comment affirming approval of same-sex marriage. Since then, Biden has remained a firm supporter of LGBTQ rights.
An Apparent ‘Epiphany’
The President has also tried to amend his past political stances on homosexuality, as shown in a recent interview with a former Obama aide, Kal Penn, where he claimed he had an ‘epiphany’ on gay rights as a teenager.
I’ll never forget it,” he said. “I turned and looked at my dad, and he said, ‘Joey, it’s simple. They love each other. It’s simple.”
The Post Wasn’t Wrong
Although the Biden campaign post concerning Johnson has been perceived as hypocritical by some, the Louisiana Rep. and new House Speaker indeed has a long history of anti-LGBTQ comments that he still upholds today.
Johnson’s Complicated History
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity last week, Johnson also referred to same-sex marriage as “the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy,” and to homosexuality as “sinful destructive.”
“I Do Not Apologize”
When questioned by Hannity on his past anti-LGBTQ statements and his work as a spokesperson for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal advocacy group, Johnson said, “Go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it – that’s my worldview. That’s what I believe, so I do not apologize for it.”
Love, Regardless of Lifestyle
But Johnson did claim that he could not remember all of these statements and told Hannity, “I also genuinely love all people regardless of their lifestyle choices. This is not about the people themselves. I am a Bible-believing Christian.”
Law and Politics
Johnson’s ascension to House Speaker comes after four terms in Congress and one term in 2015-2017 as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Prior to his political career, he worked in law, “defending religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and biblical values, including the defense of traditional marriage.”
22 Chaotic Days in the House
He was elected to Speaker after almost a month of chaos in the House of Representatives, following Kevin McCarthy’s surprise ousting, 13 candidates rejected for speakership, and three failed floor votes.
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