Contained is a collection of color and black and white photographic prints, newsletters, legal documents, ephemera, and published
items, spanning years 1940 to 2022. They reflect the political and personal life of Gary K. Miller, civil rights activist
and the first openly LGBTQ+ candidate elected to political office in both Sacramento and Placer counties.
Gary Kenneth Miller was born on March 8, 1949, in San Diego, California. Spending his formative years in Kansas City, Missouri,
Miller developed an interest in civil rights, adopting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a hero, and advocating for the election
of Lyndon Johnson (who would go on to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1968) during a mock election at Westport High School. After
graduation, he then went on to attend Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri, from 1967 to 1969. In 1968, and while
at Kansas City's Phoenix Society for Individual Rights, Miller met his husband for the next 26 years, Ronald E. Bentley. They
moved to San Francisco in 1970 and then Sacramento in 1976, when Miller took a position as a lobbyist with the Friends Committee
on Legislation, a Quaker lobbying organization. While acting as chairman of the Sacramento Human Rights Commission, Miller,
in 1981, ran for the District Seven seat on the Sacramento City Council. He did so with the endorsements of the Fruitridge
Democratic Club, the Town and Country Democratic Club, and the National Organization of Women. Although losing the election
to Terry Kastanis, the campaign had a salutatory effect in launching Miller into Capital Region politics. In 1987, Miller
ran against two incumbents for a position on North Sacramento's Robla School Board and won, effectively making him the first
openly gay man to be elected to office in Sacramento County. He held that position for nearly two decades. Bentley passed
away in 1994. In 2002, Miller met special education teacher Michael Gollbach; they married in 2008. After moving to Roseville
in 2002, Miller ran for the Roseville City School Board and won, becoming the first openly gay man to be elected in Placer
County. He held that position until losing reelection in 2020.
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