Republicans Slam RNC Member Over Alleged Anti-Gay Comments

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Wednesday December 11, 2013

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and other Republicans are criticizing an official from the Republican National Committee, who made headlines this week after it was reported he made anti-gay comments at a GOP holiday party last week.

Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for Snyder, told the Huffington Post Tuesday that Michigan RNC member Dave Agema's comments "are extremely discriminatory."

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

According to reports, Agema said gay people are urging for health care reform because they die earlier in life. According to the Herald Palladium newspaper, Agema said he saw gay colleagues at American Airlines say they had AIDS so they could receive insurance benefits.

"Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they're dying (when they're) between 30 and 44 years old," Agema said, according to the newspaper. "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."

Snyder isn't the only Republican condemning Agema's remarks. According to the Detroit News, Paul Welday, GOP Chairman of the 14th Congressional District, sent a letter to other GOP leaders, urging them to discuss Agema and his comments at the state committee this weekend.

"The tone, tenor and veracity" of his remarks have created "another political firestorm," Weldlay wrote.

"Is this the approach we are looking for from our Party's leadership?" Welday, a former GOP congressional candidate, said. "Under the circumstances, it seems to be a reasonable question worth discussing. I'm sure some will wonder why we're even bringing this subject up, but the truth is we ignore this situation at our own peril."

This isn't the first time Agema has been in hot water over his anti-gay sentiments. In March the Republican came under fire and refused to resign from the RNC after he posted an anti-gay article on his Facebook. The article, titled "Everyone Should Know These Statics on Homosexuals," claims that gay people "account for half the murders in large cities," but cites a study from the 1980s. The article also attributes high medical insurance rates to caring for AIDS patients.

Agema at the time told the Associated Press he believes marriage is between one man and one woman and will "absolutely not" resign, claiming that he posted the article because the Supreme Court was going to hear arguments on California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.