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RNC official not backing down from posting on ‘filthy’ gay lifestyle

Some Republicans in Michigan are calling for the resignation of Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema after Agema posted an article to his Facebook page that references the "filthy" lifestyle of homosexuals.

But Agema isn't backing down.

Agema on Wednesday posted the text of an article titled "Everyone Should Know These Statistics on Homosexuals,” that is attributed to Frank Joseph, M.D.

The article states that students need to be informed about the negative effects of homosexuality in order to "preserve their health and avoid cutting off about 15-20 years of their life span."

It then follows with statistics about the promiscuity of gay people and rates of sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, alcoholism and depression among them. "Part of the homosexual agenda is to get the public to affirm their filthy lifestyle," Joseph writes.

According to the Detroit Free Press, a group of 20 Republicans in the state has issued a letter urging Agema to resign. They are led by Dennis Lennox, a Grand Traverse County Republican precinct delegate, and GOP consultant Brad Fingeroot.

“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.”

The Michigan state GOP chairman also issued a statement distancing himself from Agema's posting, as did RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

"Our party remains in support of traditional marriage but that should never be allowed nor confused with any form of hate or discrimination toward anyone," state party chairman Bobby Schostak said.

Priebus echoed his recent comments urging his party to adjust its tone on gay rights issues.

“I agree with Chairman Schostak’s statement," Priebus said. "The party’s position on traditional marriage is clear, but as I have been saying, all human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”

In a statement to Post Politics, though, Agema said he would "absolutely not" resign and didn't back down from his posting of the article.

"It's part of our platform," Agema said. "Dr. Joseph, the Family Research Council, the (American Family Association) and others have similar statistics. It's a principle worth fighting for."

Agema, a former state representative and tea party supporter, is one of three officials who have been elected to represent Michigan on the Republican National Committee. The other two are the committeewoman and the state party chairman.

State parties have discretion to choose who serves as their representatives to the RNC, according to an RNC official. But it's very difficult to remove a member once they begin serving, according to Michigan GOP sources.

Slate's Dave Weigel first broke the news of Agema's Facebook post.

Updated at 2:21 p.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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