January 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Despite calls, anti-gay RNC member won’t resign post
GOP, Republican Party, gay news, Washington Blade

Dave Agema won’t resign for anti-gay comments despite calls from Reince Priebus.

A member of the Republican National Committee who’s taken heat for expressing anti-gay views indicated Friday he won’t resign from his post, despite calls from the head of his party to step down.

Dave Agema, a former Michigan state lawmaker, said in a statement on his website that he intends to continue his role representing Michigan on the Republican National Committee in the face of “a few strident advocates for homosexual marriage.”

“I have learned much over the last several weeks and will use the lessons learned to improve on my abilities to further the best interests of all people of Michigan, through my role as a proud member of the Republican National Committee,” Agema said. “I have received great response at packed audiences, drawing voters to the GOP. I fully intend to honor the trust and fulfill the responsibilities to those in the Michigan Republican Party that elected me.”

Agema refuses to resign just hours after the RNC announced Reince Priebus and Michigan Republican Party Chair Bobby Schostak have called on him to relinquish his post “for the good of the party.” The RNC didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment on Agema’s refusal to step down.

The embattled Republican faced criticism for anti-gay remarks, saying via Facebook that Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law is “common sense” and posting an article saying gay people are sexually promiscuous, rife with diseases and responsible for half responsible for the majority of murders in the country.

But Agema’s comments aren’t limited to anti-gay views. Agema also posted an old online attack piece questioning whether Muslims have contributed anything positive to American society.

Prior to Priebus’ call for Agema’s resignation, he faced criticism from gay Republicans and high-profile Michigan Republicans, most notably Betsy Devos, a former Michigan Republican Party chair and significant party donor. Reps. Candace Miller (R-Mich.), Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Dave Camp (R-Mich) also called on him to step down.

Faced with this controversy, Agema is absent during the RNC winter meeting currently underway and has sent in his place former RNC member Chuck Yob.

Gregory Angelo, executive director of the National Log Cabin Republicans, has also called on Agema and called his defiance “truly pathetic.”

“If Mr. Agema’s views are as popular as he believes them to be, I would ask him to provide one — just one — individual who is willing to speak up in his defense,” Angelo said. “To date there have been zero.”

Renewing his request for Agema to resign, Angelo said if the Michigan Republican is so concerned about his leadership responsibilities “he should know that those responsibilities require him to resign and to resign immediately, for the best of the Party.”

In his statement, Agema professes that he could have handled the situation better, but blames others for stirring controversy.

“My personal beliefs and public statements expressing them as a public figure, has been attacked by a few strident advocates for homosexual marriage seeking to change Republican, Michigan and America’s mores and laws,” Agema said. “Despite our American heritage of the right to speak freely — or perhaps because of it, my personal views on the sanctity of marriage have led to loud and heated statements among some, on all sides of this issue.”

In regards to the anti-Muslim comments, Agema apologizes for the posting the online piece and expresses regret it was reposted as his words. He makes no similar apology for the anti-gay comments.

“I stand with peaceful Muslims who share my concern with radicalism and look forward to continuing to work with people of all faiths that uphold American values,” Agema said.

Additionally, Agema swears he’ll continue to use his position to defend Christians and others whom he said are victimized by the Obama administration.

“As an American who has spent his entire life remaining faithful to his religion, his family, and his country, I have been unwilling to compromise my principles, traditional values or support for the Word of God,” Agema said.

Dennis Lennox, a Republican precinct delegate in Grand Traverse County in Michigan, said the RNC must show Agema the exit if he refuses to step down.

“This is an unprecedented and extraordinary situation that can only be resolved by the removal of Dave Agema from the Republican National Committee,” Lennox said. “The Republican Party cannot afford to allow him to remain in his position even in his disgraced state. He must be defrocked or our party and our candidates and officeholders will be forced to continue discussing his hateful, bigoted and deeply offensive statements that have no place in our party.”

Sources familiar with the RNC say no mechanism is in place in the rules to remove a rogue committee member. But, as Lennox observed, “There’s nothing that doesn’t allow it.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • He shouldn’t resign. The media should stop haranguing him for being a moral person who doesn’t support sexually immoral behaviors like homosexuality, pedophilia, and zoophilia which, of course, has nothing to do with race. At best, homosexuality is a genetic flaw in the human genome. At worst, it is an abomination.

    The latest and best Gallup polling results show an aggregated LGBT nationwide average of 3.5%. The estimated percentage of those that are homosexual rather than bisexual or transgendered is 1.7%. The liberal media is so completely obsessed with homosexuality that they are decimating rain forests but 96.5%of Americans are heterosexuals who don’t choose to engage in homosexual acts.

    And the left has been so busy painting everyone as morally blighted that doesn’t endorse the sexually immoral behavior of homosexuality that they have both abandoned building moral nuclear families in the U.S. and attacked pro-family organizations which are seeking to build them.

    The result has been the erosion and rapid decline of morality and the family which, of course, has greatly exacerbated the problem of gangs, drugs, sexual immorality, youth rebellion, etc… and driven up the incarceration of young people. Maybe the liberals in charge of 70% of the media should resign so we can get some balance in the media and save a hundred million children in the process.

    It’s tragic to see the classically liberal value of tolerance degenerate so badly under these modern “progressive” liberals. The new modern liberal definition of tolerance is that “truth is relative to the community in which a person participates. And since there are many different human communities, there are necessarily many different truths.”

    Essentially, the new tolerance tacitly teaches that a person’s behavior, beliefs and attitudes are inseparable from who he or she is as an individual and community participant. Thus, to attack that person’s beliefs or actions is tantamount to attacking them personally.

    You’re not allowed to voice an opinion for actual morality which is rooted in objective reality instead of whatever some people think at the moment. That’s why so many in this lost generation want to curb freedom of speech and persecute everyone that disagrees with them and call for the resignation of a moral man.

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