This is the thought of Michigan National GOP Committeeman Dave Agema believes. Dave was asked to speak at a Berrien County (MI) holiday reception on December 5. During his speech, Dave took a moment to share not only his personal feelings on marriage equality, but his feeling on how the GOP party itself should respond to the fight for marriage equality.
According to The Herald Palladium of Benton Harbor, Agema was quoted saying,
“I stand for traditional marriage, no homosexual ones… The family unit is the basic unit in society. When you tear the family apart, you tear the country apart.”
This is rhetoric we have all heard before from many members of the GOP. What makes him really “stand out” is his next statement,
“Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they’re dying (when they’re) between 30 and 44 years old,” he 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.”
Agema once worked for American Airlines. He claims that while he worked there, gay people claimed to be partners with people who had AIDS so that person could receive medical insurance.
He also states that the Republican Party’s platform is specifically against marriage equality. Michigan Equality’s Managing Director Emily Dievendorf came out today against Agema and also his statement that Republicans should be against marriage equality.
“Republicans have made tremendous strides over the past year in reaching out to its LGBT constituents. Equality Michigan feels strongly that the next obvious and necessary step Republicans must make to show that they stand on the side of reason is to rid themselves of Dave Agema, a venomous committee member whose hate speech and fear tactics have become an embarrassment to not only their party, but to everyone in Michigan,” said Dievendorf.
Agema is a former state legislator who proposed eliminating HIV funding as well as spearheading legislation to take away domestic partner benefits for all state public employees.
In April, he did a radio interview with “Washington Watch Live with Tony Perkins” where he spoke of homosexuality as a sin and said, “So if you really love someone, if you really were concerned about someone, if you saw your friend, for example, dying of alcoholism would you just stand quietly by and watch it happen? Or would you speak up and say, ‘hey, I want to help you.'” He also shared an anti-gay article on his Facebook page claiming that homosexuals account for half of the murders in large cities.
Equality Michigan has called on Republican leadership to denounce Agema’s remarks and seek his removal as a committee member of the Republican Party. The organization is also encouraging the healthcare community to correct Dave Agema’s erroneous remarks perpetuating a harmful stigma about people living with HIV.