Kelly Johnson, the wife of US House Speaker Mike Johnson, has received plenty of public backlash for her views on LGBTQ issues. And her friends aren’t happy about it.
Friends of the Johnsons Speak Up
Several friends of Kelly Johnson, the wife of new Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, have stood up for her in the face of mounting negative publicity, claiming she has been unfairly vilified for her political views.
Controversial House Speaker
When former Louisiana congressman Mike Johnson was elected to the US House of Representatives last month, it drew a harsh spotlight onto his past, most notably his offensive public statements on gay marriage and same-sex relationships.
Naturally, his wife Kelly also fell into the public eye.
Members of the public soon learned that Kelly Johnson was the founder of a counseling company, Onward Christian Counseling Services, which advocated the idea that LGBTQ relationships were comparable to incest and bestiality, among other things.
The company website stated that sex should only exist between a married man and woman, and that “homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest” were all sins that were offensive to God.
The same statement also included “any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex” as equally “sinful and offensive.”
Website Is Wiped, but the Truth Is Out
Though these claims have since been deleted from the website, it was enough to cause significant public backlash against the couple.
And some of her friends have spoken out against the attempts to “vilify” Johnson.
Her Friends Support Her
These friends recently spoke to the New York Times, telling the publication that while Johnson has a “set of deeply held religious beliefs that guide her life,” she is also “exceedingly polite to everyone she meets, regardless of their background or sexual orientation.”
Vilified for What She Believes In
“People who don’t subscribe to those same beliefs vilify her for believing that,” one friend said. “Because you believe something doesn’t mean that you hate the person who does whatever it is you’ve spoken out against. You love the sinner and not the sin.”
Central to Their Identity
Longtime friend Nancy Victory also told the New York Times that Kelly Johnson and her husband’s political views were “central to their identity.” “In this country, we have a right to have our own beliefs—and they do too,” she said.
Legal Reasons Only
An inside source also shared some insight into the Onward Christian Counseling Services website.
According to the source, she shared the offending statement for legal reasons.
Fear of Lawsuit
Without specifically stating the company’s religious beliefs concerning homosexuality, she believed they could be sued for refusing to counsel same-sex couples. All of Johnson’s employees had to agree to the statement.
NCCA Advised Her
This was based on guidance given by the National Christian Counseling Association, which had issued a warning to biblical counseling services. They informed the Onward Christian Counseling Services that legal action could be taken against them if they did not post a disclaimer.
Johnson later removed the statement from the website as she believed it could be misinterpreted, according to the New York Times.
She had not intended to equate homosexuality with bestiality or incest, only to explain her religious belief that all sex outside of heterosexual marriage was considered sinful.
New Speaker Under Fire
Her husband has been scrutinized tenfold due to his long history of disparaging comments toward the LGBTQ community.
Mike Johnson has been accused of calling homosexuality and same-sex marriage “inherently unnatural” and “harmful,” and even described “rampant homosexual behavior” as one of the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire.
Opinions Remain Unchanged
Despite the backlash against her and her husband’s new position of authority in one of the most important legislative bodies in the US, Johnson has still been expressing anti-LGBTQ sentiments, though in a more veiled way.
On a recent episode of their podcast Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson, she and her husband discussed what they called the “woke agenda” in US schools.
She expressed her concern over the increase of students identifying as LGBTQ, telling listeners that “these are clearly unprecedented, unsettled, and very dangerous times for our children.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Michael F. Hiatt