News :: Politics

Mich. GOP Members Calling For Anti-Gay RNC Official to Resign

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jan 21, 2014
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David Agema
David Agema  (Source:AP Photo/Agema staff via The Grand Rapids Press)

There is a movement among Republicans in Michigan to have a Republican National Committee member resign for making a number of outrageous anti-gay remarks, West Michigan’s Fox News 17 affiliate reports.

Betsy DeVos, the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, is urging for RNC committeeman David Agema to step down from his position for comments he made about the LGBT community and Muslims.

"He has damaged his position and his party. He reflects badly on Republicans and on Michigan... I couldn’t stand by and hold my tongue," DeVos said.

Political consultant and grass-roots Republican activist Dennis Lennox has gathered about 200 signatures in hopes to have Agema removed from his position with the RNC.

"Unfortunately one of my friends until last week, he was the leader of the National Gay Republicans organization, and he actually quit the Republican party over this," Lennox told the news station. "We’re losing people."

Fox 17 reports that Agema took to Facebook recently to talk about the latest controversy.

"Just got back from an 8 day out of the country vacation scheduled this past summer," he reportedly wrote. "While I was gone it seems the same people are feeding half truths to the news within the GOP, stirring up divisiveness. I stand on the same issues I always have, God, Family and country. There are times I have posted or linked an article to encourage discourse. This does not constitute endorsement of that position."

Political expert Don Zinman of Grand Valley State University told Fox 17 that the situation is "embarrassing."

"Certainly there’s no question that the Republican Party wants to present a more tolerant posture as it concerns their relationship with LGBT Americans and immigrants and younger voters," he said.

This isn’t the first time Michigan Republicans called for Agema’s resignation. Last March, the Associated Press reported that he would not step down, despite coming under fire by members of the GOP for posting an anti-gay article on his Facebook.

The former state representative came under fire again last month for reportedly making anti-gay comments at a GOP holiday party, saying gay men claim to have AIDS in order to get health care benefits.

"(Gay people) want free medical because they’re dying (when they’re) between 30 and 44 years old," Agema allegedly said. "To me, it’s a moral issue. It’s a Biblical issue. Traditional marriage is where it should be and it’s in our platform. Those in our party who oppose traditional marriage are wrong."

Again, he drew ire from Michigan Republicans, including Gov. Rick Snyder, whose spokeswoman called Agema’s comments "extremely discriminatory."

"We shouldn’t tolerate discrimination of any kind," Sara Wurfel said. "There shouldn’t be room for that in any political party. We must make sure everyone is treated with respect and civility."

But the Agema drama doesn’t stop there, unfortunately. Earlier this month he again took to his Facebook to support Russia’s "homosexual propaganda" law, which has been condemned by a number of world leaders, including President Barack Obama. Agema posted an article called "Russia’s Anti-Propaganda Law Riles Pro-Homosexual Crowd," and wrote that the measure is "common sense."

"Read their law. Common sense in Russia!" the post, which has since been deleted, reportedly read.

As Fox 17 reports, Agema has also made remarks about Muslims.

"My goal is to stop terrorism. I really don’t like it. Quite frankly, I shouldn’t say this, but it’s actually true," he reportedly said in a speech. "Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but most terrorists are Muslim."

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