The curious case of Millie Coby

One of the time-honored traditions of political campaigns is the dissemination of candidate questionnaires to candidates for office by the various interest groups representing various constituencies across the state. Among the organizations sending out questionnaires to candidates this year is Equality Wisconsin, an organization that has been working to win concrete legislative improvements in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Wisconsin since 2001.

Recently it came to my attention that Millie Coby, one of the four Democrats vying for the seat left vacant when Elizabeth Coggs, that district’s incumbent representative, chose isntead to run for the State Senate, had a rather peculiar answer to one of the questions on her Equality Wisconsin Candidate Survey.

Here’s the question and Millie Coby’s answer.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what same-sex couples wanting to adopt children has to do with pedophiles, but the response by Coby certainly could lead some to believe that she associates same-sex couples with pedophilia.

In response to Coby’s response to question #3 of their candidate survey, Equality Wisconsin issued a statement explaining their decision to release the questionnaire for scrutiny.

“Equality Wisconsin has a long history of intersectional work with other progressive organizations that cross all racial and ethnic lines,” said Jason Burns Executive Director of Equality Wisconsin. “However, when a candidate for office completes a survey that is filled with disgusting responses we feel compelled to make the community at large aware of these statements. Drawing a line between LGBT couples who want to adopt and pedophilia is not only offensive but it is also a dangerous and inaccurate comparison.”

I made several attempts to contact Millie Coby for some clarification regarding her response to the question #3 on her candidate survey for Equality Wisconsin, but Coby did not respond to any of my attempts to contact her.


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16 thoughts on “The curious case of Millie Coby

  1. Ms. Coby is a “licensed minister of the COGIC,” (Church of God in Christ). Need more be said. Evangelical Christian ministers are not now, and will not be, for the foreseeable future, allies of the LGBT community. To expect otherwise is not realistic.
    To train ministers or other religious persons to run for public office, as the program that trained Ms. Coby has done, and then expect them to adopt secular, civil positions on issues that Bible-Watchers have “other ideas” on is also not realistic.
    The position of the AME, COGIC, and Baptist churches in the black community is well-documented. Finding black leaders who have a background in public service that do NOT come from a church background is very difficult, as these churches provide one of the few, if not the only, vehicle for African-American people to get their leadership legs underneath them. Until that changes, do not expect them to have progressive positions on social issues like gay marriage, gender equality, or anything else that has been influenced by biblical tenets.

  2. I don’t know Coby…don’t know anything about her. I don’t make assumptions or prejudgments on her views because she is a member of a certain church.

    While her response is vague, it sounds more like a blanket statement meaning she is in support of anyone/everyone but pedophiles adopting kids. Her response didn’t draw any connection between LGBT community and pedophilia.

    Did Equality Wisconsin do a follow-up to clarify? I suppose there is no incentive to reveal the truth when you have an agenda to push.

    1. Yes, I have an agenda to push, It is called Public Accountability for One’s Speech and ACTIONS.
      There has been so much racially-coded speech over the last century that I would think a black person might be sensitive to this sort of thing.
      As Bill Maher is fond of saying, I am not pre-judging her, I am Judging her. If there is a track record that is clear here in America, it is that of Christian churches of every stripe denying the equality of gay relationships.
      How can any of us “know” anything about her, except through her public statements and actions.
      Again, she is not representing my district, so I have no real stake in this game. I DO have a stake in making sure that NO one gets away with a waffling statement, when a clear ” I am opposed to Gay Parents adopting, ” or I Support Gay Parents rights to adopt” would put all debate aside.
      Again, vote for who you think best represents your interests, it is the primary function of elections. The agenda is set by those who vote, and executed by those who are elected. I vote my agenda, which is often at odds with my interests, because that agenda is Right, for reasons of social and economic justice. That’s all from me on this one, as I say, it is not my election to vote in.

  3. I have to disagree with the commenter. There are lots of black progressive Christians who go to COGIC churches and provide an alternative point of view. I have friends and colleagues who are COGIC, Baptist and AME and they are as pro-LGBT civil rights as anyone else. In fact, I have friends who are WELS members and Mormons who are also very progressive, and very active in progressive causes here in Milwaukee. We should not paint such a broad brush of ethnic and religious intolerance.

    Ms. Coby is responsible for her own views, and she is not the enemy. She is someone, however, who should not earn your vote on August 14. I would use the word “opponent.” In addition, she is someone to engage and educate and build a dialogue with, to change hearts and minds in favor of LGBT civil rights and lots of other issues. The demonization has to stop.

    Vote Sandy Pasch August 14.

    1. The word demon, or any hint therof, was not used in this commentary. IF there are progressive Evangelical Christians, they are at odds with the teachings of their church organizations.
      Now, I personally applaud this independence of thought. It is at a personal level, however, not an institutional one.
      The Institution that trained Ms. Coby to be a candidate has secular values. Her use of the Code Word Pedophile was telling, was it not?
      We did not discuss whether or not adoptive parents might be pedophiles until gay and lesbian couples became adoptive parents.
      I don’t want to demonize anyone, or make them enemies. I do want to hold public persons accountable for their public speech. If I wanted to elect someone to educate and dialogue with, I’d vote for her for a seat on the church board, not a secular legislature.
      The broad brush you refer to is an institutional one. We ought not judge individuals, UNTIL they become public figures. Running for office makes you public, and thus I have judged her speech. This is not only allowed by the current politically correct rules, it is Required of all citizens who wish to make informed voting decisions. This kind of a decision is a public one, and has nothing to do with the attributes of any given private individual, who may be a member of a retrogressive institution, but known personally to someone as at odds with some or all of the values of that institution. See my blog article on about public versus private relationships.

  4. Got to agree with Roland (gasp). I think she answered that question right away by stating she would support adoption. Her aside of rejecting pedophiles in conjunction with this question may have been unfortunate, but I didn’t see her picking on same-sex couples.

    And the reference to her religious beliefs in comments is ridiculous. The comments use a broad brush to tar COGIC. Frankly, nowhere is there shown any knowledge of COGIC’s stance on same-sex marriage, just supposition. While it is true that many christian (small c) denominations are stridently against supporting equal rights to homosexuals, no evidence has been shown here that COGIC follows that line.

    1. Well, if you are replying to a blog online, the evidence you seek is only a few keystrokes away.
      See these links. Jesus Saves, but only if you’re straight, as well as narrow, I might add. This site states NOTHING about COGIC beliefs, a fact I find AMAZING! You can shop there, but you cannot see their doctrines. Jeez!
      These days, there is no need for any claim made online to go undocumented. When I blogged for I ALWAYS included links to pages that had the evidence.
      Here’s some more…no need to single out any particular religion, of course, as they all do this, with a few notable exceptions.

  5. If you go to her website you can see that she was adopted, so she may be speaking more to that issue than the LGBT issue. I think you are looking to much into her answer.

    1. As Dean Martin used to say, and I paraphrase, jes’ keep those excuses comin’…
      I am also adopted, and am a married bisexual person of considerable relationship experience, so I know of what I speak. She is speaking from whatever place she feels is safe, I suppose.
      In elections, one may find oneself out of the Ol’ Comfort Zone rather a lot, and here is a good chance to see how this woman will fare in the glare and reflected media spotlight. So far, not so good. She has a chance, of course, to speak a lot more on a lot more topics. Again, this is not my election, but this is my issue.

  6. I have heard (but haven’t confirmed) that she does no better on the rest of the questionnaire. That she, in fact, opposes Equality Wisconsin on a number of other LGBT civil rights issues. If that’s the case, then any defense of her on this gays=pedophiles thing is wasted space. Again, the easy answer for August 14 is to vote for experienced, effective progressive leadership–vote for Sandy Pasch!

  7. I simply want to say I fully, unequivocably and completely support LGTB rights and same sex marriage. I also have the best brother in the world.

    He’s gay, not that it matters.

    I just thought absent real proof the assertions were stretched. If it’s proved otherwise, shame on them.

    And don’t ever think my commenting is wasted space. I’ve probably been doing this a lot longer than you. I’ve earned my right to comment in any way I choose.

  8. Ack! Sorry Zach. I missed that. I just noticed the excerpt. So she comes up with this ‘sound mind’ thing on domestic partnership, and she avoids many questions, including the biggie, marriage equality. Pretty clear if one supports civil rights for all, one should support Sandy Pasch in this race. I hope Ms. Coby reconsiders her views on some of these issues.

  9. The person who mentioned that commenting on this issue was wasting space meant it for everyone, not any commenter specifically. They think that asking Ms. Coby for her support on a critical progressive issue is superfluous, since the other candidate has such a clear record of this very support. If yer gonna blog, ya gotta grow a bit thicker skin, and get yer logic circuits going full blast, and read what people write, not what they SEEM to be saying. Words are all we have online, and they have to be taken at face value. AND that face value has to mean something…
    See the links to COGIC websites and media articles for detailed info on their typical Christian, anti-gay stance as an organization.
    By the way, COGIC does not ordain women, per Wikipedia, so Ms. Coby CANNOT be a minister in that church. As usual, women do most of the work there, by Wikipedia’s assertion, but are limited to being Mothers of the Church, and cannot be fully ordained.
    I am glad you support LGBT civil rights, Other Side, as I do. Voting for Ms. Pasch seems like a good thing to do, but if you want an African-American in that seat, you’ll need to vote Coby, and take your ambiguous at best, and veiled opposition at worst, positions on LGBT issues. At least these issues have some legislature history of support here in formerly progressive Wisconsin.
    I’m REALLY done now,

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