Ed Team

Are Micah Clark and the AFA Backpedaling?

Filed By Ed Team | June 17, 2005 2:53 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics

I get the American Family Association of Indiana's online newsletters, and today's was quite interesting.

The normally timid (read: repressed queer) Micah Clark had recently ripped Gov. Mitch Daniels a new one after Daniels issued his non-discrimination policy as he promised he would do in his campaign.

This has been one of the most interesting developments in state Republican politics if you ask me; to my knowledge, the religious right until now has more-or-less given Daniels a pass on what we know are his more moderate views about GLBT issues.

While it appears they were going on the attack big time after Daniels' statement was issued, Micah Clark and the AFA seem to be doing some serious backpedaling in today's post, although the damned thing is so rambling and confusing it's hard to know what to make of it.

Regardless, I don't think there's much question that there is a crack developing in Republican party unity, which, in my mind, we would be wise to stick a crowbar in it and pry just as hard as we can.

Here is the section of the newsletter I've been referring to. Fair warning it has no paragraph breaks; it's just a big mess both literally and figuratively. I haven't been able to make much sense out of it, but methinks Micah has taken some doo-doo from someone for slamming Daniels, and I don't think it was only Daniels who dished it:

--Begin AFA Newsletter Article--

As you may know, I was on vacation last week. I have also delayed this weekly e-mail to observe and consider all the sparks that have flown following our alerting thousands of Hoosiers of the Governor's employment policy. There is much I can say, but I simply want to convey my course of action and to set the stage for how I will respond to the questions raised by the Governor's response. First, as a reminder to those who are new to the list, about a year ago, candidate Mitch Daniels posted a pledge on his campaign web site that said, if elected, he would add the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to his employment policies in state government. At that time, I pointed out that AFA of Indiana had serious concerns about this matter. The governor followed through with his pledge on April 26th, 2005. Thus, as a matter of consistency, I had an obligation to remind people of the dangers AFA still perceives in his policy. I did that in two e-mails and my national office followed that up with an alert to their Indiana list. My purpose was simple. It was not to harm the governor politically. I have repeatedly stated that we agree on many issues. This is a point my colleague Curt Smith made in the Governor's automated e-mail reply. However, as many will read in my June letter, there are three issues I will not ignore as the head of AFA, regardless of the persons or political party involved. Those three issues are pornography, abortion and homosexuality, because each destroys lives. I have seen this destruction far too many times among my friends and loved ones to ever shy away from speaking out about them. Further, I have a duty to make sure that our elected officials understand that there are thousands of Hoosier families who agree with AFA and that this large voting block should not be ignored or appear to be taken for granted. I have no regrets about sounding the alarm. However, looking back, I do think that my tone and my use of the keyboard were, at times, too cutting and harsh. Upon review, I have decided to not directly answer the Governor's reply, which so many of you have asked me about. Instead, I have asked for outside legal verification to see if what I, or AFA's national office, sent was "misleading" as the Governor's office has charged. I have not yet seen the reviews I requested. I simply sent the Governor's policy, without my comments, to these national offices and asked for their review. I will post those reviews in their entirety next week. I have also been told that the AFA Center for Legal Policy will be sending its own response to its large Indiana e-mail list. Next week, I will simply pass on what a couple of nationally recognized pro-family legal authorities say regarding the Governor's policy. That way, you can judge what they say about the policy in a reasoned manner, without editorial comment. It is my hope that we will be able to work with the Governor and his staff about issues of concern to Hoosier families in the years and months ahead.

--end AFA Newsletter Article--

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DATE: 6/17/2005 06:43:27 PM

There is not only the policy, which is pretty good as far as it goes, bending over backwards not to be construed (the word they hate the most) as endorsing gay marriage, while protecting employment rights for everyone; there is also the governor's message to Indy Pride. While carpers have noted that he never explicity says he endorses Pride, he explicitly, in his own voice, condemns the kind of position Micha takes. If I were Micha, I would note that the Gov seems prepared to stand up for his policy (however weakly we may think he does) and that, if Micha has any concerns about how much of his "following" might fade away as morning mist, if put to the test, he might want to avoid that test just now.

AUTHOR: bilerico

DATE: 6/17/2005 10:08:37 PM

I was talking to a group of politically savvy people today who had a slightly different take. It seemed to them that Micah had caught hell from some of the local/State Republicans for criticizing Daniels and now Micah has to distance himself a little. So what's he doing? He's calling in the feds. He's going to let his mothership do the dirty work so he can sit back and say, "Well, it's out of my hands..."

AUTHOR: Steph Mineart

DATE: 6/18/2005 07:46:33 AM

I love reading fun stuff like this. I think your take is dead on Bil. He got the smack down, but doesn't really want to admit defeat, so he's calling in the national AFA. I'm dying to know what the governor's reply was, and what the reference to "misleading" was about. Given how Clark twists everything into something misleading, it's not surprising. Just funny that he did it to the governor, too and not only us.