Dave Agema, who made headlines in March for promoting an article on Facebook filled with anti-gay junk-science "statistics" and calling homosexuality a "filthy lifestyle," told the Berrien County Republican Party that gays want free healthcare because they die early deaths from AIDS.
The Herald-Palladium reports:
"I stand for traditional marriage, no homosexual ones," [Agema] said. "... The family unit is the basic unit in society. When you tear the family apart, you tear the country apart."
He has taken flak nationally for his stance against gay marriage, but he said he doesn't mind because while working at American Airlines, he saw firsthand what happens when benefits are extended to gay people.
He said American Airlines workers would say a person with AIDS was their lover so that person could get medical benefits.
"Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they're dying (when they're) between 30 and 44 years old," he said. "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."
Agema's remarks earned condemnation not just from LGBT groups like Equality Michigan, but also from within the state's Republican Party. Party precinct delegate and political columnist Dennis Lenox reportedly wrote to Michigan Republican Committee members and asked them to censure Agema. "This isn't about core principles or deeply held religious beliefs," he wrote. "This is about Mr. Agema's hateful and unabashed bigotry."
Paul Welday, a county district GOP chair and a friend of Mr. Agema, slammed his comments and said they will end up hurting the Republican Party. "We're practicing the politics of subtraction here, and to do that is the fastest way I can think of to become extinct."