During Wednesday’s House speaker election, Democratic Representative Angie Craig wished her wife a happy anniversary, making a barely concealed jab at the Republican nominee who ultimately prevailed, Louisiana Representative Mike Johnson.
Craig sided with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries during a vote to choose the next speaker of the House, along with other Democrats. But to a round of applause from some of her fellow senators, the Minnesotan exclaimed, “Happy anniversary to my wife!” before casting her vote.
There was some undertone to Craig’s admission of marriage and her vote for Jeffries because Johnson has been a vocal opponent of LGBTQ+ rights during her time in Congress.
Johnson, a fervently religious social conservative, has expressed opposition to the historic Obergefell v. Hodges ruling by the Supreme Court, which made same-sex marriage lawful in 2015. He filed a measure in 2022 that would outlaw discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in establishments receiving federal funding. Known as the Stop the Sexualization of Children Act, it was likened to the contentious “Don’t Say Gay” legislation in Florida.
Prior to last year’s rejection of Roe v. Wade, many have blamed the anti-LGBTQ evangelical group Alliance Defending Freedom, for whom Johnson worked as an attorney and spokesperson.
On party lines, Johnson prevailed 220–209 in the House speaker election on Wednesday.
Following the unusual recall of previous House Speaker Kevin McCarthy by far-right Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, Johnson was the party’s fourth nominee for speaker this month.
Without a speaker, the fractured House Republican Conference was unable to come together behind a candidate, causing Congress to stand still for three weeks.
Craig, on the other hand, gained notoriety earlier this year after defending herself by hurling hot coffee in the attacker’s face after being attacked in an apartment building elevator.
When the attack was made public in February, Craig’s chief of staff stated that the Democrat “suffered bruising but is otherwise physically okay” following the assault.