Mike Johnson's wife removes website comparing LGBTQ+ relations to bestiality and incest: report

The bylaws on Kelly Johnson's company website referred to homosexuality as being "sinful and offensive to God"

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published October 31, 2023 11:19AM (EDT)

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) leaves a House Republican conference meeting in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) leaves a House Republican conference meeting in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The wife of newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., recently deactivated the website for her company after HuffPost found that the business' bylaws likened homosexuality to bestiality and incest. 

Kelly Johnson is the owner and chief executive of Onward Christian Counseling Services, a pastoral counseling service rooted in faith, per a Friday report from HuffPost. Johnson's website, which was yanked from public access on Saturday, featured a link to an eight-page operating agreement from 2017 that detailed how the company was structured around the belief that any sort of sexual relations other than those between a man and a woman were considered "sinful and offensive to God."

“We believe and the Bible teaches that any form of sexual immorality, such as 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,” reads a section of the document.

The Johnsons have long upheld their beliefs in far-right religious ideals, starting with their 1999 covenant marriage, a legally distinct unification in three states — Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana — in which spouses obtain pre-marital counseling and accept more stringent grounds for seeking divorce in the future. In a 2001 sit-down with Dianne Sawyer for Good Morning America, Kelly shared, “From a woman’s perspective, I’ve been in some bad relationships before, and I just knew that when I met the man that I was supposed to marry, I wanted to know it was for a lifetime. ... It gives me such peace and security.”

In 2005, during an interview with ABC, Mike stated that his own parents' divorce led to his want of a covenant marriage. 

"My wife and I both come from traditional Christian households," Johnson said. "My own parents are divorced. As anyone who goes through that knows, that was a traumatic thing for our whole family. I'm a big proponent of marriage and fidelity and all the things that go with it, and I've seen firsthand the devastation [divorce] can cause."

Kelly affirmed her husband's statements, adding, "I think that it would be a pretty big red flag if you asked your mate or your fiancé, 'Let's do a covenant marriage,' and they said they don't really want to do that."

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More recently, after Johnson secured the win for the speakership, he shared why his wife was in attendance, saying, "She’s spent the last couple of weeks on her knees in prayer to the Lord. And, um, she’s a little worn out.”

What remains to be determined is the extent to which the new House speaker was involved in drawing up the bylaws for his wife's company. HuffPost reported that the language Kelly adopted in the bylaws for Onward Christian Counseling Services is nearly identical to that contained in the bylaws for a document created for a nonprofit faith group founded by her husband. The website for Freedom Guard, which is founded upon “contending for the Christian faith through strategic litigation” is also currently disabled, as HuffPost notes.

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During an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity last week, Johnson claimed that he "didn't even remember" criticism over his arguments against gay marriage and sex

“I was a litigator that was called upon to defend the state marriage amendments," the House speaker said. "If you remember back in the early 2000s, I think there [were] over 35 states, somewhere in that number, that the people went to the ballot in their respective states and they amended their state constitutions to say marriage is one man and one woman. Well, I was a religious liberty defense and was called to defend those cases in the courts.”

Johnson also asserted that he “genuinely” loves all people regardless of their “lifestyle choices” because he is a “Bible-believing Christian," a statement in seemingly deep contrast to Kelly's company bylaws. 

“Someone asked me today in the media, they said, ‘it’s curious, people are curious. “What does Mike Johnson think about any issue under the sun?”’ I said, ‘Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it – that’s my worldview. That’s what I believe and so I make no apologies for it.’”

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Gabriella Ferrigine is a staff writer at Salon. Originally from the Jersey Shore, she moved to New York City in 2016 to attend Columbia University, where she received her B.A. in English and M.A. in American Studies. Formerly a staff writer at NowThis News, she has an M.A. in Magazine Journalism from NYU and was previously a news fellow at Salon.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Brief Kelly Johnson Lgbtq Mike Johnson Politics Sean Hannity