A group of state Republicans is calling for the resignation of Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema over an antigay posting on his Facebook page.
Agema's posting Wednesday, during U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments regarding the legality of same-sex marriage, was based on an online article titled, "Everyone Should Know These Statistics on Homosexuals," which appeared under the byline Frank Joseph, M.D.
The post depicts gays as sexually promiscuous, rife with sexually transmitted diseases and responsible for "half the murders in large cities."
Dennis Lennox, a Grand Traverse County Republican precinct delegate and former county drain commissioner, issued a statement Wednesday signed by 20 other Republicans condemning Agema's "deplorable actions" and calling for his resignation.
"This isn't about what we believe either politically or as women and men of faith," the statement said. "This is about common decency and realizing that you cannot win an election by insulting a wide swath of the electorate, whose votes our Republican Party needs to once again form a national majority."
Agema, who was elected as one of two Michigan representatives on the Republican National Committee in May after having served as a Republican state representative from Grandville, responded to criticism on Facebook by saying he posted facts and facts make people uncomfortable, according to the Lansing political newsletter Gongwer.
In a statement e-mailed to the Free Press this morning, Agema said he posted something someone else had written and "some publications and even a few liberal Republicans have chosen to take the words of someone else and cast them as my own.
"I think it was a piece worth sharing given the debate over gay marriage that is happening in the Supreme Court," Agema said.
"I strongly maintain my position in support of marriage between a man and a woman and I will not back down from my core beliefs in support of strengthening the family."
Those who signed the statement criticizing Agema, a group Lennox described as "the next generation of Michigan Republicans," included Brad Fingeroot of the Oakland County Young Republicans, and Brian Szmytke, chairman of the Wayne County Teenage Republicans.
"Bigotry in the GOP cannot be tolerated," Fingeroot posted on Twitter on Wednesday.
Lennox said this morning that several others, including Saginaw County Republican Chairman Brian Frey, have joined him in calling for Agema to resign. An e-mail to Frey was not returned.
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