Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) refused to condemn a member of the state’s Republican National Committee for railing against gay people in a Facebook post and arguing that medical statistics show “their lifestyle usually leads to early death.”
A growing number of young party leaders have called on Dave Agema, a former state representative, to resign, particularly after it was revealed that several of his “statistics” were attributed to “a non-practicing chiropractor with ties to white supremacist and anti-Semitic groups.” Asked about the matter during a conference call on Monday, Snyder didn’t pressure on Agema to step down, but instead issued a blanket call for more tolerance:
“I’m not going to get in the middle of all that,” the first-term Republican said. “My view is any kind of discrimination is wrong. I’ve been a strong advocate of anti-bullying legislation, and I think it’s appropriate that we stand up for all people.”
Some local Republicans are frustrated that party leaders are sitting on their hands. “I think certainly, in light of what came out Friday, that at this point it’s inexcusable for good Republicans not to come out and say not only what Mr. Agema said is deplorable and indefensible, but that there can be no room in the party for someone who would share information from a person associated with the KKK,” Dennis Lennox, a Republican precinct delegate from Grand Traverse County told Michigan Live.
In 2011, Agema sponsored a bill to prohibit public employers from providing domestic partner benefits to the same-sex partners of employees. Snyder signed his measure into law and promised that it would not impact higher education institutions.