Monday, July 18, 2005

Miller's Advance America Launches Attack on Daniel's EEO Policy

As Advance Indiana first reported on July 6 in a story entitled "Daniels Defends EEO Policy on Christian Radio: Miller's Motives Revealed", Eric Miller announced the intentions of his "nonpartisan, nonprofit" Advance America organization to Christian radio station WFRN in Elkhart to launch its own attack on Governor Mitch Daniel's EEO Policy, joining Micah Clark's American Family Association of Indiana. Today, Miller acted on that promise and delivered an "Urgent Alert" e-mail to Advance America's Christian fundamentalist members entitled "GOVENOR'S POLICY WRONG FOR INDIANA!!! GRANTING SPECIAL RIGHTS TO HOMOSEXUALS IS WRONG!" The "Urgent Alert" comes nearly three months after Governor Daniel's implemented his policy. And just like the previous attacks by Michah Clark, the news alert contained blatant misrepresentations, false assertions and bigoted statements concerning Daniel's EEO Policy.

Miller's attack on Governor Daniel's policy included a false assertion that it provides "special rights for the homosexual lifestyle". Miller warns that the policy "can be used by activists courts to justify legal recognition of same sex marriage." He says that it "Paves Way for Quotas for Homosexuals [and] Transvestites . . . marital-type benefits for same-sex partners, 'gay pride' celebrations, and school programs that affirm homosexuality." Miller promises that "Advance America will continue to lead the effort to amend the Indiana Constitution to protect marriage by banning same sex marriages and civil unions" and "to oppose other efforts to grant special rights to homosexuals at the state and local level like the anti-business and pro-homosexual ordinance . . . defeated earlier by the Indianapolis City-County Council. Miller urges his members to contact Governor Daniel's office and ask him to rescind his "pro-homosexual employment policy".

The policy enacted by Governor Daniel's in late April is the same policy enacted by Indiana's two previous governors, the late Frank O'Bannon and Joe Kernan, both Democrats. The policy in queston specifically provides that "sexual orientation and sexual identity shall not be a consideration in decisions concerning hiring, development, advancement, and termination of civilian [state] employees." It confers no special rights on state employees because of their sexual orientation or sexual identity; rather it prohibits discrimination in state employment matters on these bases. The state's policy also prohibits "discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or veteran status", mirroring protections also included in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Indiana's Civil Rights law. There is no provision in the policy establishing quotas as falsely asserted by Miller, and which are illegal under federal law.

If Miller wants to discuss laws that actually provide "special rights" unlike Governor Daniel's policy, Advance Indiana is happy to oblige. For example, there are no fewer than 1,049 federal laws that confer special rights or benefits for Americans on the basis of their marital status. That is the finding of a 1997 General Accounting Office study conducted at the request of Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde concerning the impact of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The study identified far ranging benefits and rights for married persons, including taxation, social security benefits, military benefits, immigration and loan programs among others. Miller himself has personally benefitted from federal tax laws that permitted him to establish Advance America as a tax-exempt entity in order to advance his own political career and to self-enrich himself at the taxpayers' expense. Claiming, as Miller has repeatedly, that a law protecting persons against discrimination because of their sexual orientation or identity confers a special right is simply disingeneous and outrageously hypocritical in the face of all the laws that Miller supports which actually do provide special rights to some Americans to the exclusion of others.

Miller, like other Christian fundamentalists, continues to foment hatred towards gays and lesbians by referring to their sexual orientation as a "homosexual lifestyle". This, of course, presumes that someone chooses to be gay or lesbian. When people like Miller choose to call it a lifestyle choice against all the medical science confirming that homosexuality is a normal, natural, and fixed sexual orientation, they are simply displaying their bigotry. It is no more right to discriminate against a person because of their sexual orientation than it is to discrimination against a person because of the color of their skin. In neither case does a person have any control over their inate characteristic, and to subject a person to public ridicule and retribution can only be described as inhumane. More importantly, it is completely at odds with the premise upon which our federal and state constitutions were established--that all persons are created equal.

It is also well-established in Indiana that the "special right" of marriage is conferred upon only one man and one woman. Yet, Miller continues to falsely assert that anti-discrimination policies in employment matters give a license for the courts to establish same sex marriages. Similarly, Miller has falsely claimed that Indianapolis' Proposal 68 would require businesses to offer same sex benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian employees, and that churches would be forced to hire "homosexuals and cross-dressers". It is difficult to understand the logic of a supposed Christian person lying to the public about these laws and proposals for the purpose of advancing a "Christian society" unless you are a true hypocrite like Miller.

The long delay in Miller's attacks on Governor Daniel's policy is noteworthy. As we previously noted, Miller remained silent for years during the O'Bannon and Kernan administrations when identical EEO policies were enacted. He also left the task of criticizing Daniel's policy to Micah Clark for the past three months, although he devoted substantial energy to the defeat of Indianapolis' Proposal 68. As Advance Indiana previously reported in its July 8 story, Miller has never disbanded the political campaign committee he formed for his failed 2004 gubernatorial bid, which he lost to Governor Mitch Daniels in the Republican primary. Miller's campaign committee still has a balance of over a half million dollars for Miller's future political use. It is clear that Miller is preparing for a re-match against Mitch Daniels in the 2008 Republican primary, and he is using his tax-exempt Advance America organization for blatantly political purposes to undermine Governor Daniels with conservative Republicans.

Advance Indiana through a series of previous stories has meticulously detailed the extent of Advance America's and Eric Miller's political activities in clear violation of its tax-exempt status, which is based upon its representation to the government that it is an "educational" organization. Advance Indiana has also detailed the extent to which Miller has used his tax-exempt organizaton to personally enrich himself through six-figure salaries, six-figure legal retainers and the comingling of his law practice office space with the tax-exempt organization's offices. These stories have all been re-published on GayIndy.Org in recent weeks, and Advance Indiana is aware that they have been reviewed by journalists representing several mainstream news media organizations, including the Indianapolis Star. Yet no news stories have appeared in any mainstream media reports taking Miller and Advance America to task for their legal and ethical lapses other than the Howey Political Report, which exerpted Advance Indiana's report on Miller's self-dealing at Advance America several weeks ago. The public deserves accountability from Miller and Advance America, and it's the duty of our media to hold this public man and his publicly-subsidized organization accountable to the public. So far the mainstream media are failing us miserably. Let's hope it changes for the better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of this Miller guy. I don't understand why the media doesn't report this crap on him. I'm glad somebody's blowing the whistle on this phony.