During a Fox News interview with newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA), Sean Hannity downplayed Johnson’s history of extreme anti-LGBTQ activism and defended Johnson’s efforts to ban classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Johnson previously served as senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, an extreme anti-LGBTQ legal group. During his tenure, Johnson repeatedly argued against a New Orleans effort to extend health insurance benefits to same-sex partners of municipal employees, insinuating that same-sex marriage eventually leads to “taboos” like pedophilia. Johnson also wrote a series of columns calling homosexuality “inherently unnatural,” a “dangerous lifestyle,” and a “bizarre choice,” while also claiming that marriage equality is a “dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic."
During the interview, Hannity asked Johnson to address his work with the ADF and provided him a chance to walk back his bigoted comments, saying: “Some of these comments were 15 years ago."
Johnson responded, “I don't even remember some of them” before affirming his allegiance to “the rule of law” and declaring himself “a Bible-believing Christian."
Hannity simply replied, “That’s your personal worldview."
Johnson has also advocated for anti-LGBTQ legislation at the federal level. In 2022, Johnson introduced the Stop the Sexualization of Children Act, a federal version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law that sought to eliminate federal funding for libraries, schools, and other organizations that discussed aspects of gay and trans identities.
Hannity downplayed the harmful implications of Johnson’s Stop the Sexualization of Children Act and Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, noting: “By the way, the word ‘gay’ was never in the Florida legislation.” He then prodded Johnson about whether his legislation would prohibit discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity to public school students over the age of 10, to which Johnson replied, “No.” Johnson then argued that “moms and dads should be the ones responsible for talking about these sensitive issues with their children, not the public school system.”
Hannity’s interview with Johnson comes on the heels of his failed campaign to elect Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as House speaker.