The Republican official in Michigan embroiled in controversy over an anti-gay Facebook post said Friday that he won't be heeding the calls to step down and he stands by the content of the inflammatory article.
Dave Agema, a Republican National Committeeman and former Michigan state representative, told Newschannel 3 that he has no intention of resigning, despite calls from members of his own party to do so. On Wednesday, Agema posted an article on his Facebook page in which homosexuals were described as "filthy." The article contained "some statistics about the homosexual lifestyle," such as: "50% of suicides can be attributed to homosexuals (10)" and "Homosexuals account for 3-4% of all gonorrhea cases, 60% of all syphilis cases, and 17% of all hospital admissions (other than for STDs) in the United States (5)." A screen grab from the Facebook post can be viewed here.
While Agema distanced himself from the "filthy" characterization, he was quick to highlight the statistics on the gay "lifestyle and what it causes."
"They quoted as what somebody else said and attributed it to me; I didn't say that," Agema told the news station. "So, do I agreewith everything that that guy and the way he said it in the article, no. But he gives a lot of statistics on the results of the health and mental and physical health of the lifestyle and what it causes."
The article was written by a man identified as Dr. Frank Joseph. Agema said he posted the article to urge his fellow Republicans to stand by the "principle of the party" at a time when national attitudes on same-sex marriage are changing rapidly and the Supreme Court may render a landmark ruling on the issue.
"Now's the time to discuss it, that's why I brought it up," he said. "Say, 'oh, you're dividing the party,' no, I don't think so; we're standing on the principle of the party. If the party doesn't stand on its principle, we'll lose our base."
Video of the interview is available at the Newschannel 3 website.