Michigan Republican National Committee member Dave Agema's anti-gay remarks last week are drawing criticism from fellow Republicans, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R).
At a GOP holiday party last week, Agema said that gay people want health care reform because they die earlier in life. The Herald Palladium newspaper reported that Agema said he had seen gay colleagues at American Airlines claim AIDS victims as lovers so they could receive insurance benefits.
"There shouldn’t be room for that in any political party. We must make sure everyone is treated with respect and civility." ~ Gov. Snyder's spokeswoman, Sara Wurfel
"Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they're dying (when they're) between 30 and 44 years old," Agema said, according to Herald Palladium. "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."
Snyder's spokeswoman, Sara Wurfel, said Tuesday that Agema's remarks "are extreme and discriminatory." ...."There shouldn’t be room for that in any political party. We must make sure everyone is treated with respect and civility."
...After Agema's comments last week were widely reported, he sent an email to supporters, saying the original article "twisted [his] speech far out of context."
"I was simply making a point about my opposition to same sex benefits and for traditional marriage," he wrote. "I stand by my words as I said them despite efforts by others to twist the meaning of those words. I strongly support the GOP Platform, the Michigan Constitution and the RNC Resolutions passed in support of Traditional Marriage and will not back down from those principles."