Prominent Indiana lobbyist Eric Miller, a self-described “pro-family and pro-church” advocate, announced Tuesday he will close the doors to his conservative political advocacy group by the end of the year.
Miller founded Advance America, formerly Citizens Concerned for the Constitution, in 1980.
The organization has boasted a political network that includes thousands of members drawn from nearly 4,000 Indiana churches—nearly one third of all churches in the state. Advance America notes that its network additionally consists of thousands of Hoosier families, and hundreds of businesses.
Miller, an Indianapolis attorney, said in a statement Monday the organization will “cease operations” after Dec. 31.
“Your prayers and support made it possible for Advance America’s non-partisan educational efforts to help educate and inform hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers about how their government operates and what they can do to make a difference on issues of importance to them and their family,” Miller said to supporters in an email.
“You have helped make Indiana a better place to live, to raise a family and to worship freely,” he continued.
Advance America describes itself as non-partisan and does not endorse any candidates or political party.
Every year, staff at the organization have reviewed each bill filed in the Indiana General Assembly before sending out information about legislation that could impact families and churches.
Miller and others with the group also testified before legislative committees, met with legislators, helped draft amendments and bills, and directed members of the public to contact their elected officials.
He also unsuccessfully challenged Mitch Daniels in the 2004 Republican primary for governor. Daniels won and served two terms.
As part of its “pro-family” and religious freedom campaigns, Advance America supported the controversial Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act and sought to uphold the state’s same sex marriage ban.
In legislative sessions over the last decade, the conservative group has opposed bills permitting transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice, as well as separate measures to extend regulations on daycares to include those run by churches.
In 2021, Advance America additionally launched efforts aimed at school boards. The goal was to get schools to ban critical race theory and gender identity instruction, and to require parental consent for mental health services and sex education in schools.
Miller further said in his announcement that over the past 42 years, Advance America has helped:
protect Indiana churches from “government control and taxation”guarantee that pastors in Indiana can provide Biblical advice to families and children
advocate for Christian and homeschools to operate freely
ensure that unborn babies in Indiana “have more protection than they have had in over 50 years”support legislation that provides a vast majority of Hoosier parents the option to receive private school vouchers to help enroll their children in Christian schools
lobby for bills that provide Hoosier school kids “more protection from inappropriate and immoral instruction”
Although Advance America is closing, Miller said that emphasized that “the battles are not over,” and said he “will still be involved to make a difference in Indiana.”