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Michigan GOP official rejects calls to resign

by Ed White and Steve Peoples
Saturday Jan 25, 2014

A Michigan member of the Republican National Committee rejected calls to resign Friday after making anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks.

Dave Agema said he's made mistakes but pledged to continue to "honor the trust and fulfill the responsibilities to those in the Michigan Republican Party that elected me."

He issued a statement hours after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan Party Chairman Bobby Schostak called for his resignation.

"For the good of the party, we believe Dave Agema should resign," Preibus and Schostak said in a joint statement.

Last March, Agema posted an article on Facebook with an unsubstantiated claim that gays account for half the murders in large cities. In December, he told Berrien County Republicans that his experience as an American Airlines pilot made him familiar with efforts by gays to get health insurance coverage because of the ravages of AIDS.

He also came under fire from the Council on American-Islamic Relations for a Facebook posting this month questioning Muslims' commitment to charity.

A number of leading Democrats and several Republican members of Michigan's congressional delegation already have called on him to resign.

"I acknowledge errors in judgment and how I addressed them, feel badly about the impact this has had on many here in the land I love, and have learned valuable lessons about the requirements and responsibilities that are to be expected and honored by all who are in leadership positions, including myself," Agema said.

He said he appreciates the "charitable efforts" of Muslim-Americans and apologizes for posting an article on Facebook "that has been re-quoted as my words."

The controversy comes as Republican officials from across the country gathered in Washington for the RNC's winter meeting. GOP leaders are particularly focused on broadening the party's appeal to younger voters and minorities.

Agema did not attend the Washington meeting. In an earlier statement, he said his "liberal critics" would use his attendance as an excuse "for a drawn-out fight between liberals and conservatives within the party."

GOP Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land, Michigan's other RNC member elected at a state convention, on Friday said in a statement that Agema should resign. She had previously expressed disagreement with Agema but had not asked him publicly to step down until Priebus and Schostak weighed in.

Republican strategist Dennis Lennox, a leader in the coalition to push Agema out, said Priebus' action "sends the message that Republicans have learned their lesson on tone and messaging."

"The last thing Republicans need to be talking about is KKK rhetoric," Lennox said.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  • , 2014-01-25 13:34:52

    we the people who r not gay" need to stand for truth and right thinking! im sure the majoriy of this country is not homosexuals ! so we need to let our voices b heard! we have rights also we have been defending this country from the start now is the time to stand for the truth and being a perverse person! is not it thats just what it is perverse! its family s that the strengh of our country & thats comes from a man&women

  • , 2014-01-25 14:21:00

    Do you want to try that again in English , Anonymous ? Or perhaps have someone who’s not an illiterate moron post it for you... if you know anyone that fits the description. Thanks.

  • , 2014-01-25 14:40:38

    Anon, this is not 4chan. Here in the real Internet you have to make sense. I think you started right, we (all, not some, ALL), must stand for what’s right. This congressman obviously lives in the 20th century still. Wake up bro is 2014!. Let’s call this retrogrades for what they are.

  • , 2014-01-25 15:11:39

    I guess the leaders of the Republican Party are "liberals." This makes sense, since liberals are now Muslim communists.

  • , 2014-01-25 15:23:07

    I believe that the success of this country was due to the fact that it used to be Christian country. Since we allowed a foreigner to come into our country and change that fact by first removing God from our schools; the country has become sick. We the people have the right to believe whatever you choose. But it does not take a rocket scientist to see that Homosexuality is immoral. You want to be parents but yet only a man and women can make a baby. Women of the world I am so disappointed in you. Our political leaders are trying to sell us the lie that if a man has a surgical procedure that now he’s a women. I worked Federal gov’t contracts for 25 years. They are allowing these men that work in the gov’t to use the women’s restroom and there is nothing you can say as a woman. Well the last time I checked we were also equipped with a uterus, fallopian tubes, overies. Our bodies go through so many changes in a life time so that we may produce life. And we as women accept men telling us that all is required to be a women is a artificial hole inserted in them and wallah they are now woman. What form of acceptable madness is this. Now I have a question for all our straight male politicians that supported this Madness. Since it’s so normal, would you sleep with one? It is unfair to force acceptance of this lifestyle on people. Everyone is not in agreement with this way of life. I had a homosexual brother and I have a homosexual son. I lived to see Aides take my brothers life and it has now claimed my son. Nothing good comes out of this lifestyle and it never will. I pray for this country. It has become an evil country full of greed and hate. No concern for life at all. We are now directing our children ta accept this life of destruction. what’s next. Are we going to start accepting child porn next. Or are we going to encourage our kids to have sex change operations because they think the opposite sex is trapped in them. What,s next. The thought makes me shutter to the bone. This pure madness. Are we going to eventually end up in a country with no restraints. God forbid. To Christian Brothers and Sisters, keep praying for our country. We are all it has. Watch and Pray. America, time is drawing nigh. Wake up and pay attention, Time is drawing nigh. Love, A child Of God.

  • ParadeOfFools, 2014-01-25 17:41:39

    Maybe if people like you didn’t prevent people like your brother and son from getting life saving educational resources or from being in a public, monogamous relationship then they would’ve practiced safer sex and not gotten this horrible disease. You killed your brother and now you’re killing your son.

  • Wayne M., 2014-01-28 20:36:36

    First of all, it is clear that Agema’s remarks were full of lies designed to create hate. For example, blaming LGBT people for half the murders in large cities is not only a lie, but one that is designed to raise fear and hate. Similarly, had he done any research into the work done by the majority of Muslims in America and everywhere, he would know full well that they are engaged in a wide variety of charitable works that benefit a wide range of people, particularly those who are poor and neglected by our society and culture. SOME OTHER FACTS that certain responders to this article need to recognize: FIRST, the United States and Canada were not founded on a state religion and cannot claim to be Christian countries. They were founded on freedom of religion and that includes all people of faith and of no faith at all. SECOND: The best independent science and psychology have shown that homosexuality is not a choice, nor is it a lifestyle. Furthermore, equating homosexuality with pedophilia has no basis in facts. To claim that being homosexual is immoral has no basis in fact. Sexual orientation is morally neutral and neither moral nor immoral in itself. The overwhelming majority of LGBT people live very moral lives. THIRD: I am Christian and your suggestions that being Gay is anti-Christian has no basis in fact. LGBT folk are Christian, Muslim, Jewish and of other faiths as well and we not only pray for our countries, but serve our countries in the military, public service, volunteer service, church work and other ways as well. If the Republican Party had any guts, their leaders would do more than merely criticize Agema. While he has the right to express his views that he thinks homosexuality is wrong or that he disagrees with Islam, he has gone too far through hate speech. Hate speech is not free speech but the abuse of speech - and for this reason he needs to be removed from his position in the party.

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