A GOP official who has refused to step down from his post said this month that the Republican party was following "the Devil's way" and doubled down on offensive comments made about gays and lesbians.
Dave Agema, a Michigan Republican National Committee member, made the comments speaking at the evangelical advocacy organization American Decency Association in Fremont, Mich. on Feb. 7. A video of his talk was posted to YouTube Monday.
In his speech, he said the RNC informed him it would direct funding away from him and blamed calls for his resignation on the Devil.
"I got that right from [RNC Chairman] Reince Priebus' mouth. That's what happened to him. They threatened to take several hundred thousand dollars out of the RNC unless they came out against me," Agema said. "The rich and powerful, you know, when people came here [before the American Revolution, they] were the only ones who could speak freely, it's coming to that again. So that's what happened. I just think it's amazing. We got Benghazi. We got NSA. We got the IRS. We got all these things. This is the Devil’s way -- this is the Democrats’ way -- to split the party.”
(Watch the full video of Agema's speech below.)
Priebus asked Agema to step down from his post last month "for the good of the party." Agema said he had erred in judgment in the way he had addressed his opposition to homosexuality, according to MLive, but said he would not step down.
In his speech to the American Decency Association, Agema said free speech was at risk, mentioning how he had gotten "slammed" after making offensive comments about the LGBT community and Muslims.
"Homosexuals, the LGBT groups, have war rooms, literally war rooms, when they see anybody try to fight against their lifestyle," he said.
He said his stance on Muslims and homosexuals had been misunderstood, but still compared the dangers of the "homosexual lifestyle" to alcoholism, for the second time:
Folks, I don't hate anybody. I do not hate homosexuals. I do not hate Muslims. But if you're going to come here as a Muslim, you'll live under our laws, not Sharia law. And if you're a homosexual, if I really care for you, and I made this example when I was on the radio one day, and they made this a big issue. I said, let me give you an example: If I have my neighbor, and he's a good friend if mine, and he's dying of alcoholism, and I know he's dying, and I can help him, if I really care for the guy, I try to do something about it, not just let him die. The same way with the homosexual lifestyle. So when I said that suddenly they said Dave Agema compares homosexuality to alcoholism. That's not what I was doing I was trying to show an example if you really care for somebody.
Agema is one of two RNC committee members in Michigan and previously served as a state representative. He has made continued statements attacking the LGBT community.
In January, he posted an article on Facebook with a comment praising Russia's anti-gay propaganda law, which he again called a "good law" at his speech this month. Critics have condemned the legislation for stifling gay rights.
In a December speech, he accused gays and lesbians of supporting health care reform to get free care coverage for AIDS.
Last month he also reposted another person's text on Facebook that included the line, "Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?" This month, said he it was probably fair that he had gotten "hammered" on that, because "we've got doctors, lawyers and dentists that are there now," and not all Muslims are "evil."
But he quickly followed it with a claim that Thomas Jefferson, who owned a Quran, made copies of the book so people could "see what a barbarous people we're dealing with."