Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has distanced himself from recent remarks made by Republican National Committee member Dave Agema claiming that gay couples only want marriage so they can get health benefits to fight AIDS. In a statement to MIRS News, Snyder’s Press Secretary Sara Wurfel condemned the comments:
WURFEL: What I’d say, plainly and simply, is that the Governor believes Mr. Agema’s remarks are wrong, extreme and discriminatory… We shouldn’t tolerate discrimination of any kind. There shouldn’t be room for that in any political party, period.
This is a shift for Snyder, who previously avoided responding to Agema’s anti-gay rhetoric. This past spring, when Agema wrote on Facebook that homosexuality “usually leads to early death,” Snyder simply said, “I’m not going to get in the middle of all that.”
Despite routinely claiming to oppose “discrimination of any kind,” Snyder has refused to say whether he believes LGBT people should be protected from being fired for their identities, suggesting it could “depend on the particular facts of the situation.” His administration has defended Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage and adoption because it helps “regulate sexual relationships” among straight couples.
After Agema’s remarks were widely reported, he claimed that his words were twisted, but that he nevertheless stands by them.
(HT: Dennis Lennox.)