WASHINGTON (AP) – The chairman of the Republican National Committee has called for the resignation of a Michigan GOP official who made anti-gay remarks.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus joined Michigan chairman Bobby Schostak on Friday in calling for Dave Agema to step down as Michigan’s representative to the Republican National Committee.
Agema has attacked same-sex marriage and accuses gays of seeking free health care out of fear of AIDS. A number of leading Democrats and several Republican members of Michigan’s congressional delegation already called on him to resign.
Priebus and Schostak released a joint statement on Friday — “For the good of the party, we believe Dave Agema should resign.”
Agema did not attend this week’s RNC meeting in Washington.
In a recent statement, Agema says his “liberal critics” would use his attendance at the meeting as an excuse “for a drawn-out fight between liberals and conservatives within the party.”
Agema released the following statement Friday night:
“As an American proud of our Country, my faith and convictions, and the core values and principles that have contributed directly to our unrivaled international role as champions of freedom, prosperity and hope- I have made comments considered by some, to be insensitive, inflammatory, and inaccurate.
In retrospect, I acknowledge errors in judgment and how I addressed them, feel badly about the impact this has had on many here in the land I love, and have learned valuable lessons about the requirements and responsibilities that are to be expected and honored by all who are in leadership positions- including myself.
I have become increasingly frustrated and concerned by continuous attacks on religion in general, and Christians in particular, by the Democrat Party, the Obama Administration, and others.
I openly posed a question aimed at shedding light on that subject. I readily acknowledge my mistake, appreciate the charitable efforts of Muslim Americans, and offer my sincerest apology for reposting an article that has been re-quoted as my words. I stand with peaceful Muslims who share my concern with radicalism and look forward to continuing to work with people of all faiths that uphold American values.
As an American who has spent his entire life remaining faithful to his religion, his family, and his country, I have been unwilling to compromise my principles, traditional values or support for the Word of God.
My personal beliefs and public statements expressing them as a public figure, has been attacked by a few strident advocates for homosexual marriage seeking to change Republican, Michigan and America’s mores and laws. Despite our American heritage of the right to speak freely- or perhaps because of it, my personal views on the sanctity of marriage have led to loud and heated statements among some, on all sides of this issue. I could have handles this better.
I want to affirm that my goal is for a better life for all residents of Michigan. I have learned much over the last several weeks and will use the lessons learned to improve on my abilities to further the best interests of all people of Michigan, through my role as a proud member of the Republican National Committee. I have received great response at packed audiences, drawing voters to the GOP. I fully intend to honor the trust and fulfill the responsibilities to those in the Michigan Republican Party that elected me.”
A Friday statement from Betsy DeVos regarding this incident:
“The Chairman of the RNC and MRP demonstrate real character and leadership in calling upon Mr. Agema to resign. His failure to do so says something about his character. Republicans must move on and make it clear through word and deed that Mr. Agema does not represent us. We are focused on growing our coalition so that we may win for our ideas of freedom, opportunity and limited government.”