Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Joel Miller for the 102nd Assembly District

The Pride Agenda is proud to endorse Republican incumbent Dr. Joel Miller for re-election to the 102nd Assembly District (representing Poughkeepsie and the western part of Dutchess County).

Joel Miller is a strong supporter of LGBT rights, never hesitating to speak about our issues and our community and always emphasizing his belief that all Americans should be equal and none should be the target of legalized discrimination. When the marriage equality bill was debated and passed by the Assembly last year, Miller was the first Republican to stand up and state his support for the bill, and the same was true again this year when the Assembly debated and passed a bill prohibiting discrimination against transgender New Yorkers.

In a letter he sent to supporters earlier this year, Miller said, “I voted for the gay marriage bill for one single reason – it was the right thing to do. Furthermore my vote sends a message to other Republicans that there is no need to be stuck in archaic ways, because we can and we must be a progressive party, one that embraces a changing world and one that grants every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender person full equality and justice under our laws.”

Miller has long had a reputation among his colleagues for being honest and forthright --even outspoken -- about where he stands on an issue. At a recent Log Cabin event where Republican legislators in support of marriage equality were present (Assemblymembers Sayward, Scozzafava and Duprey) and one in particular who is on the other side of the issues and said so again at the event (Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos), Miller spoke forcefully in support of marriage for our families.

In true Joel Miller style, he also didn’t hesitate to say what he thought about the legal mechanisms some Republicans like to propose as a substitute for providing our families with marriage and the 1,324 state-based rights and obligations that only marriage provides. Gay City News reported Miller as saying, “None of this partner contract baloney that they talk about. You can’t go halfway.”

As a bipartisan organization, we are proud that every major piece of LGBT legislation in Albany has passed with support from both Democrats and Republicans. Going forward, this will continue to be important for all our community’s key pieces of legislation. Nothing gets done in Albany without support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Joel Miller is a Republican who votes for equality and justice for LGBT New Yorkers and doesn’t hesitate to go the extra mile and speak up about why our equality is an important part of the promise America makes to all its citizens. He is the only Republican who voted for marriage equality in the Assembly who has a race this November. He is being challenged by a Democrat, Jonathan Smith, who also filled out our questionnaire and has stated his support for our issues.

The choice in this race, however, is clear. Miller deserves the Pride Agenda’s endorsement and our community’s support because he has earned it. Joel Miller has stood with us over and over again, through his votes and through his words, so we stand with him in his re-election on November 4.

To read profiles of other important races we are highlighting for the NYS Legislature, go to our 2008 Election Center.

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