National GOP Committeeman Dave Agema Speaks Against Homosexuality, Again

By Crystal Proxmire

Speaking at the Berrien County Republican Party holiday reception Dec. 5 at Pebblewood Banquet Hall in Bridgman, the Michigan national GOP committeeman slighted the LGBT community once more speaking against gay marriage and implied that gay people with AIDS should not get health insurance.

According to The Herald Palladium of Benton Harbor Agema said, "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."

He claimed that when he worked at American Airlines, gay people would claim to be partners with an AIDS-infected person just so that person could get medical care.

"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."

Equality Michigan decried Agema's remarks with Managing Director Emily Dievendorf saying, "It is unconscionable that in 2013 a political figure in a prominent position would feel so comfortable spewing lies about real people in a pathetic attempt to deny fundamental rights to families in Michigan.

"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, who hails from Grandville, is a former state legislator who proposed eliminating HIV funding and spearheaded legislation to take away domestic partner benefits for all public employees. In April, he did a radio interview with "Washington Watch Live with Tony Perkins" where 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 committeee 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.

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