Joe Miller is for state control of gay rights issues except when he against it.
The Republican candidate for Alaska's US Senate seat told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Tuesday that he supports the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and would personally vote for a constitutional amendment preventing same-sex marriage.
The MSNBC host described the interview as "very strange." She said the two were only allowed to talk for a few minutes as they "moved from a roof, through a lobby, down an escalator, through another lobby, out a door and into an SUV."
"In terms of gay rights issues, there's a man on your campaign payroll who runs a website called HopeforHomosexuals.com," Maddow said. "His name is Terry Moffit. Do you agree that homosexuality can be changed, it can be cured?" she asked.
Miller deflected the question. "Our perspective -- and we've answered this question before -- is that it really is a state issue," he said. "As to how those issues want to be resolved, it should be handled at the state level."
"Do you agree that homosexuality is a choice?" Maddow wondered.
"I believe that's up to the individual and the individual has to make that decision," Miller replied.
"About whether or not they're gay or whether or not they believe that," Maddow pressed.
After a long pause, Miller said, "You know, I'm not going to intrude upon an individual's decision as to what he or she does. The fact of the matter is it's a state issue. That's our position in the campaign. That's our answer to the question."
"We're increasingly a diverse country and as a diverse country," he continued. "I think that it's important that we recognize that there are different approaches to different values and I think that it's best for states to be able to make those choices."
"Is there a federal role in banning gay marriage?" Maddow asked.
"Well I think there's a Defense of Marriage Act which I support," Miller said.
"Why should there be a federal role there if it should be a state issue otherwise?" Maddow pressed again.
"Well my perspective is that it is at the core a state issue," he said.
When asked if he thought there should be a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Miller simply said, "I'd vote for it."
Miller is in a three way race with incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Scott McAdams (D). A recent CNN-Time poll found that Murkowski and Miller are tied at 37 percent. McAdams trails at 23 percent.
Documents released Tuesday showed that Miller admitted lying about using government computers for political purposes in 2008. "I was an ass. I was beyond stupid," he allegedly told investigators.
This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Oct. 26, 2010