Mike Johnson’s Wife’s Friends Say She’s Been Unfairly Vilified for Wildly Anti-LGBTQ+ Views
Last month, amid a deluge of information about newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson, we learned that the lawmaker’s wife, Kelly Johnson, founded a counseling company that equated being gay with bestiality—which, while extremely disturbing, was not entirely surprising given that the congressman himself once claimed legalizing gay marriage would lead to people marrying their pets. Nevertheless, the company website’s claims—which, before being deleted, included comparing homosexuality to adultery and incest—caused considerable backlash and gave rise to even more questions about the couple’s beliefs. In turn, that led to friends of Kelly Johnsonto The New York Times to set the record straight and let people know: The new House Speaker’s wife may have abhorrent, out-of-touch views, but she’s a nice lady!
According to the Times, Johnson’s friends described her “as someone with a set of deeply held religious beliefs that guide her life—but also someone who is exceedingly polite to everyone she meets, regardless of their background or sexual orientation.” Is it cool that Johnson is nice to people’s faces “regardless of their background or sexual orientation”? Sure, but for a lot of people, it probably doesn’t make up for the fact that she is vehemently against a large percentage of the population being able to marry whomever they love. (To be clear, in case it somehow wasn’t known, longtime friend Nancy Victory told the Times, Kelly Johnson is very much against gay marriage, in addition to abortion. “In this country, we have a right to have our own beliefs—and they do too,” Victory said of the couple. “They are central to their identity.”) Said another friend: “People who don’t subscribe to those same beliefs vilify her for believing that. 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.” Yes, nothing says “This woman is actually so loving of all people” like describing certain individuals as “sinner(s).”
As for the whole bestiality business? According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Johnson had to put that on her website—so she wouldn’t get sued for refusing to work with gay couples. Per the Times:
>In a page on her counseling website, which she deleted days after Mr. Johnson was elected Speaker last month, Mrs. Johnson said she believed any form of sexual activity outside of marriage, including “adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.” All employees of her company were required to abide by and agree to the statement, according to the operating agreement.
>Mrs. Johnson took down her site because she felt the statement had been misinterpreted and become the subject of scorn, according to a person familiar with her thinking who described it on the condition of anonymity. The section in question, that person said, followed guidance sent out by the National Christian Counseling Association, which warned biblical counselors that they could be open to legal action if they did not include a disclaimer such as the one on Mrs. Johnson’s site. She could be sued, the association said, for refusing to counsel gay people if she did not post it. The intention, the person said, was not to compare bestiality with homosexuality, but simply to state that according to biblical scripture, any sex outside of a heterosexual marriage is considered sinful in God’s eyes.
You see? She wasn’t trying to compare bestiality with homosexuality; she was saying that homosexuality, like bestiality, is a sin in the eyes of God, and that’s why she can’t work with gay people. Big difference!
Johnson declined the Times’ request for comment. As the outlet noted, during an episode of the podcast she until recently cohosted with her husband, she said she was deeply worried about a “woke agenda” in schools and the rising number of students who identify as LGBTQ+. “These are clearly unprecedented, unsettled and very dangerous times for our children,” she said.