Agema refusing to resign amid Facebook controversy
Updated: Friday, March 29 2013, 08:08 PM EDT
KENT COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - As the U.S. Supreme Court considers two landmark same-sex marriage cases, a local political figure is under fire for what he posted on Facebook.
Former Michigan lawmaker and current Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema posted an article critical of gay people, which made several controversial declarations.
Among the statements in the article is that gay people "account for half the murders in large cities."
Now, Agema is facing pressure from within his own party to step down.
The former State Congressman told Newschannel 3 in a sit-down interview on Friday that he won't be resigning, and in fact, he is reaffirming much of what he posted on the social media site.
Agema did distance himself from a comment in the article that claimed the homosexual lifestyle was "filthy."
"They quoted as what somebody else said and attributed it to me; I didn't say that," Agema said. "So, do I agree with 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."
Agema is referring to numbers referenced by the purported author, a writer identifying themselves as Dr. Frank Joseph, which allege that if a person is homosexual, it cuts years off their life.
Other people within the Republican party don't believe the numbers cited in the article and think Agema is wrong to spread the information on social media.
Republican operative Dennis Lennos wrote in a statement to the Detroit Free Press, "This isn't about what we believe either politically or as women and men of faith. 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."
Some members within the party called the post deplorable, but Agema stands by it, saying he's not giving in or giving up.
Instead, he says he's going to be asking party members to re-affirm their beliefs about marriage.
"Now's the time to discuss it, that's why I brought it up," Agema 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."
State Republican leaders say they want to be very careful with the situation, to spread their message, but not to spread hate, especially when public opinion appears to be changing on the issue.