Log Cabin Republicans President on Giving Antigay Mike Johnson ‘The Benefit of the Doubt’

Author: Christopher Wiggins

Charles Moran, the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, has offered a candid look into his group’s relationship with the new speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, with Business Insider. In addition to discussing Johnson, Moran spoke with the outlet about the challenges and opportunities faced by LGBTQ+ Republicans in today’s political arena.

The conservative LGBTQ+ organization was founded in 1977 and has more than 10,000 members.

Throughout the interview, Moran spoke about his desire to work with the speaker, even though Moran admits he, like many in the U.S., was unfamiliar with Johnson before he became speaker. Since he acended to the role, Johnson’s past has been discovered to be littered with anti-LGBTQ+ comments and policy positions.

Johnson’s history includes advocating for the criminalization of gay sex, linking “rampant homosexual behavior” to the fall of the Roman Empire, and involvement with a group promoting the damaging and discredited practice of conversion therapy. Despite these positions, he now holds a prominent role as the highest-ranking elected Republican in America.

Moran dismissed concerns over Johnson’s anti-LGBTQ+ worldview.

“I mean, these are all issues, statements, things that are out of line,” Moran said when Business Insider referred to a 2003 statement from Johnson on the criminalization of gay sex and also his comments that homosexuality brought down the Roman Empire. “I don’t think during that time, President Obama or then-Vice President Biden were supportive of LGBT equality. I don’t think that Hillary Clinton was at that time either. It’s not an excuse; it’s not a denial. I just think it’s entertaining that the mainstream media and a lot of Democrats want to sit here and, like, go back to the early 2000s on these things, and they do it with Republicans, but they don’t want to do it with Democrats.” (Actually, Obama and Biden did not become president and vice president, respectively, until 2009.)

Moran said he will give Johnson the “benefit of the doubt.” He explained that he was able to meet with Speaker Johnson’s office. Moran said Johnson’s team was committed to building consensus and avoiding the re-litigation of settled law.

“So things that do not have that consensus are things that he’s not going to be pushing, which gives me cautious optimism that he’s not going to be picking up any kind of hot-button, hardline social issues and trying to push in opposition to LGBT equality issues,” he said. “I took that as, you know, things like Obergefell, things like Respect for Marriage, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ you know, any of the stuff that has been voted on or just settled already. He’s not necessarily looking to deal with that, so that’s very helpful for me.”

The interview also delved into Johnson’s recent legislative initiatives, particularly his introduction of a bill similar to Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education Act, often called the “don’t say gay” law.

Moran claimed, “So age 10 is what — third or fourth grade? Vast numbers of Americans, according to public polling, agree with Speaker Johnson’s position on that.”

However, his assertion that these views align with most Americans contrasts with Morning Consult’s data. A 2022 Morning Consult poll found that only 51 percent of respondents supported such policies in Florida. Since then, Florida has expanded this prohibition to all grades through high school graduation.

The Log Cabin president said he has never met Johnson, but he’s interested in talking to him.

Specifically, Moran said he’d be interested in asking, “Do you have anybody in either your family, or in your close network of friends, or even your extended network of friends, who’s gay? Like, do you know anyone? Have you ever had a gay staff member? Have you actually been in a trusted, safe space where you can actually ask some of these questions and quote-unquote, get to know a gay, and have it done from a positive, not accusatory standpoint?”

Though Moran admits he “doesn’t care” about Johnson’s personal opinion on those subjects.

“I need to know that as the speaker of the House, he’s going to lead from that place of consensus building, and not looking to overturn or repeal things that have already been voted on, or that the Supreme Court has already decided,” he said.

CNN recently discovered statements from Johnson that voiced support for revisiting Supreme Court decisions that struck down restrictions on the use of contraception, overturned bans on gay sex, and legalized same sex marriages.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins

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