Advance America's Eric Miller, otherwise known as the Grand Dragon of Moral Righteousness, has taken a couple of minor, barely-noticed actions on the part of Gov. Mitch Daniels and turned them into rallying cries for his followers on the Christian right. The Howey Political Report quotes from a homobigoted e-mail Miller sent out lambasting Gov. Daniels for supporting a Indianapolis' Gay Pride Celebration and failing to speak out publicly in support of SJR-7:
"In a very disheartening move, Gov. Mitch Daniels has shunned the importance of protecting traditional marriage and embraced an Indianapolis 'gay pride' parade all in the course of a week." "For three years Gov. Daniels has been virtually silent about the Indiana Marriage Protection Amendment (SJR 7), which stalled in an Indiana House Committee this year on a tie vote.
The Governor told reporters on Friday that the marriage amendment would not be part of his re-election campaign." In that meeting with reporters, Daniels was asked about wedge issues and said, "I do believe there are other things more important to our future, at least other things that a governor and the people around him can try to work on. And, secondly, I'm always trying to bring this state together, and we don't have, I don't believe, the luxury of division."
Miller charged, "Yet, six days earlier the Governor was not concerned about divisiveness when his letter to Indy Pride welcoming homosexuals attending a festival and parade was published in the gay pride program. The annual Indianapolis gay pride event featured such apparently non-divisive items as drag queens on stage, men in leather bondage outfits kissing on the street, and a parade Grand Marshall who was honored for his authoring of a stage play and film called 'Southern Baptist Sissies.'"
Several family lobbyists told HPR at the governor's campaign kickoff that they were alarmed by Daniels' rejection of "wedge" issues. When told of the criticism, Daniels told HPR, "There's probably never been a more pro-life governor than I have been."
Miller also warned his supporters about the Indiana Department of Health "partnering with Indiana's largest abortion provider." He said that IDOH is "partnering" with Planned Parenthood in hosting a June 26 workshop with Dr. Michael Carrera, an outspoken critic of abstinence-only programs for schools. According to a Wall Street Journal Report, Carrera says abstinence-only programs "lie to kids." Miller said, "It is inexcusable that the IDOH would provide partnership in hosting a speaker who is a harsh critic of abstinence-only education - the same type of education currently taught in Indiana's public schools. Such actions can only serve to undermine those programs that have effectively presented abstinence before marriage as the expected standard for all Indiana school children."
The timing of Miller's attack on Daniels right after he launched his re-election bid can't help but make some wonder whether Miller may be considering a rematch against Daniels in the 2008 GOP primary. He has continued to maintain his political campaign committee since his 2004 loss, and his name is prominently displayed on Advance America's website and banners at any events the organization holds for its supposed nonprofit purposes.
The Indy Pride letter attack is noteworthy in that Daniels has sent a very similar letter supportive of past Indy Pride gatherings without any similar complaints from Miller. Likewise, Daniels has avoided talking about the gay marriage issue since taking office. This is the first time Miller has publicly attacked Daniels for his silence on the issue. As for Miller's description of the Indy Pride parade, let's end Mardi Gras celebrations everywhere. "Drag queens on stage?" "Men in leather bondage outfits kissing on the street"? Me thinks the twice married and childless Miller protests a little too much.
The AFA's Micah Clark has worked himself up in a lather this week as well. Responding to Daniels' statement that he did not want to make wedge issues like gay marriage a part of his re-election campaign, Clark told his followers:
Just days after defeating Eric Miller in the Republican Primary, candidate Daniels met with homosexual activists regarding a "gender identity" employee policy, which as Governor, he later enacted. Then on May 19th, a representative from the Daniels' Campaign met with, and gave a donation to, a "transgender" rights activist group.
Clark apparently didn't get a recent e-mail message from the Governor on the issue which other folks received. Daniels stated: "As I clearly said on June 15th, and have always stated, I support the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, and would support an amendment to confirm this further in Indiana law . . . Either the out-of-state organization that contacted you received incorrect information about my position on this matter, or they were grossly unfair."