Dave Agema is a member of the Republican National Committee, but 21 Michigan Republicans are calling on him to step down after he posted some virulently anti-gay remarks on Facebook. His original post Wednesday was an excerpt from an anti-gay screed by Frank Joseph, M.D. that claims students are being “indoctrinated that homosexuality is just another normal alternative lifestyle.” After being called out, Agema stood firm, defending his posting of Joseph’s remarks in an email:
His findings and others confirm its an unhealthy lifestyle. The gay activists portray themselves as innocent victims ; however, we who believe in traditional, time tested values are being bullied. Because I disagree with their views, I have had threats to me and my family- thats hate! This is not about hate but a lifestyle that is against 230 years of American history and filled with medical, psychological, legal and costs reasons to oppose it. If you truly loved someone, you would want them to know their lifestyle usually leads to early death. It’s about common sense. It’s about maintaining the family and its importance to the well being of the children and this nation.
Agema added that, though he has deleted the original post, he has no intention of stepping down or backing down:
I will not back down. I will dig in and fight even harder to defend our conservative values from these attacks by liberals in the media, and even in our own party.
In 2011, Agema sponsored a bill to prohibit public employers from providing domestic partner benefits to the same-sex partners of employees. Faculty at the University of Michigan threatened to take their expertise to another state if it passed, but when Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed it into law, he promised that it would not impact higher education institutions.
Many of the Republicans who have rebuked Agema have maintained that the party opposes same-sex marriage, but they oppose his brand of condemnation of gay people. This is particularly ill-timed as the GOP is attempting to sugarcoat the public’s perception of its opposition to LGBT equality.