Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson collaborated with anti-LGBTQ group to promote fraudulent 'ex-gay' therapy

“I mean, our race, the size of our feet, the color of our eyes, these are things we’re born with and we cannot change . . . What these adult advocacy groups like the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network are promoting is a type of behavior. Homosexual behavior is something you do, it’s not something that you are.” - Speaker of the House Mike Johnson in 2008 when he collaborated with now defunct "ex-gay" group Exodus International.

No matter how hard he attempts to conceal his homophobic past, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is finding out that some things won't stay buried.

From CNN:

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson closely collaborated with a group in the mid-to-late 2000s that promoted “conversion therapy,” a discredited practice that asserted it could change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian individuals. 

 Prior to launching his political career, Johnson, a lawyer, gave legal advice to an organization called Exodus International and partnered with the group to put on an annual anti-gay event aimed at teens, according to a CNN KFile review of more than a dozen of Johnson’s media appearances from that timespan. Founded in 1976, Exodus International was a leader in the so-called “ex-gay” movement, which aimed to make gay individuals straight through conversion therapy programs using religious and counseling methods. Exodus International connected ministries across the world using these controversial approaches. The group shut down in 2013, with its founder posting a public apology for the “pain and hurt” his organization caused.

 Conversion therapy has been widely condemned by most major medical institutions and has been shown to be harmful to struggling LGBTQ people. At the time, Johnson worked as an attorney for the socially conservative legal advocacy group, Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). He and his group collaborated with Exodus from 2006 to 2010.

 For years, Johnson and Exodus worked on an event started by ADF in 2005 known as the “Day of Truth” – a counterprotest to the “Day of Silence,” a day in schools in which students stayed silent to bring awareness to bullying faced by LGBTQ youth.

 . . . Johnson promoted the event heavily in the media – through radio interviews, comments in newspapers, and an editorial. In interviews, he repeatedly cited the case of a teen who went to school after the Day of Silence wearing a shirt that read, “Be ashamed. Our school has embraced what God has condemned” and “Homosexuality is shameful.” 

The teen was suspended and ADF represented him in legal action over the incident. The case was dismissed because the teen graduated, and the court found he no longer had standing to challenge the dress code. “Day of Truth was really established to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda in public schools,” Johnson told a radio host in 2008.

According to CNN, Johnson's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

Editor's note - I've written several posts on this laughable event known as the Day of Truth. Here is just a few:

Exodus International dropping support of anti-gay event Day of Truth

Religious right 'Day of Truth' peddles same old lies to youth

Whatever happened to the Day of Truth?

Day after the Day of Truth - another Day of Silence

Day of Truth? Give me a break!!