Dave Agema, the Michigan Republican National committeeman who sparked outrage after posting an anti-gay article on his Facebook page in March, took to conservative airwaves Wednesday to denounce the “homosexual” lifestyle, this time comparing gays and lesbians to drug addicts and alcoholics.
During the "Washington Watch Live with Tony Perkins" radio program, Right Wing Watch reported, Agema told Perkins, also the Family Research Council president, that he is merely trying to help gays and lesbians, much like helping a friend who is “dying of alcoholism.”
Agema: What I’d like to have the homosexual community know is I don’t hate them, as a matter of fact when Jesus caught the woman in the act of adultery when they brought her to him he said I don’t condemn you but go and sin no more. That ought to be the church’s goal here. We ought to be saying to these people, 'hey, we don’t agree with your lifestyle and we’ll help you get out of it, but we want you to know the facts of what’s going to happen to you if you stay in this lifestyle.' ...
So if you really love someone, if you really were concerned about someone, if you saw your friend, for example, dying of alcoholism would you just stand quietly by and watch it happen? Or would you speak up and say, 'hey, I want to help you.'
In the interview, Agema also targeted schools teaching lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-inclusive curriculums, warning listeners that “the next thing that will occur is your kids will come home and say, ‘I think this is a good thing and I think I want to be one.’”
“If you as a parent stand up and say, 'this is against my moral beliefs and my biblical beliefs,' then the next thing you’re going to get into is hate crimes, because you’re speaking against something that’s been sanctioned by the state,” Agema concluded.
In March, Agema, a former state lawmaker, publicized an article on his personal Facebook page condemning the “filthy” lifestyle of “homosexuals,” a move that outraged Republican colleagues and led to calls for his resignation. Agema dismissed critics, telling supporters that calls for his resignation were a “joke.”
The controversy flared again after reports that the article Agema posted, "Everyone Should Know These Statistics on Homosexuals," cited white supremacist and Holocaust-denier Edward Fields.
Last week, former Michigan state Rep. Jerry Vovra (R-Plymouth Township) joined the coalition calling for Agema’s resignation, stating that “there can be no room in the Republican tent for him.”
“The real issue is Agema, as a leader of my Republican Party, using his position to spread outright bigotry,” Vorva wrote in an op-ed. “His vile, vicious and highly offensive statements have no place in the debate on social issues.”
Despite the conservative outcry against Agema, other Republicans have lined up in support of the RNC committeeman, including state Reps. Ken Yonker (R-Caledonia), Thomas Hooker (R-Byron Center) and Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), who signed a petition supporting Agema’s “efforts to stand up for conservative values.”
Agema's remarks come as the Republican Party struggles to rebrand itself, and as some social conservative groups threaten to split from the party if it changes its stance on same-sex marriage.
During Wednesday’s radio interview, Agema also expressed the frustration he faces when trying to “help” gays and lesbians, saying that this time he’s “not going to keep quiet on them.”
“The problem is the homosexual community is very organized, they got a lot of money behind them,” Agema said. “They are very good at shutting anybody down and embarrassing him so they will shut up.”