Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Friday his family “deserves to be supported just like every American family” in response to House Speaker Mike Johnson’s previous comments on gay marriage.
“I will admit it’s a little bit difficult driving the family minivan to drop our kids off at daycare passing the dome of the Capitol knowing that the Speaker of the House sitting under that dome doesn’t even think our family ought to exist,” Buttigieg, the first Senate-confirmed LGBTQ Cabinet secretary, said on CNN News Central.
Johnson, who secured the speaker’s gavel late last month, has a history of harsh anti-gay language from his time as an attorney for a socially conservative legal group in the mid-2000s.
In editorials uncovered by CNN’s KFile, Johnson called homosexuality an “inherently unnatural” and “dangerous lifestyle” that would lead to legalized pedophilia and possibly even destroy “the entire democratic system.”
And in another editorial, “Your race, creed, and sex are what you are, while homosexuality and cross-dressing are things you do,” he wrote. “This is a free country, but we don’t give special protections for every person’s bizarre choices.”
He also 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.
Johnson told Fox News’ Sean Hannity, “I don’t even remember some of them,” when asked last week to respond to the editorials he wrote during a lengthy interview. Calling himself a Bible-believing Christian, Johnson went on to say he genuinely loves all people “regardless of their lifestyle choices” and that he respects the rule of law.
“I was a litigator that was called upon to defend the state marriage amendments. If you remember back in the early 2000s there was 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, one woman. Well, I was a religious liberty defense lawyer and I was called to go in and defend those cases in the court,” he said.
Appearing on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Thursday, Buttigieg maintained he’ll “work with anybody who can help us get good transportation available to the American people,” while suggesting he’d be willing to host Johnson at his home.
“Maybe we’ll just have him over because our little house isn’t that far from the Capitol,” Buttigieg said.
When asked by Colbert how he could work with someone who argued that same-sex relations are “the dark harbinger of chaos,” Buttigieg described a typical night with his family.
“If you could see what it’s like when I come home from work, and Chas is bringing the kids home from daycare or vice versa, and one of us is getting the mac and cheese ready, and the other one’s microwaving those little freezer meatballs that are a great cheat code if you’ve got toddlers and you got to feed them quickly, and they won’t take their shoes off, and one of them needs a diaper change,” Buttigieg said.
“Everything about that is chaos, but nothing about that is dark,” he added. “The love of God is in that household.”
For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com