Tag Archives: Dave Agema

Thank you Chairman Priebus!

***  We’ll send this letter soon.  Add your name in the comments section below, or LIKE this post on Facebook, to sign the letter and show your support for the pro-equality Republican movement!  ***

Chairman Reince Priebus
Republican National Committee
310 First Street,
SE Washington, DC  20003

February 8, 2014

Dear Chairman Priebus:

We, the undersigned, write to thank you for your recent censure of Michigan committeeman Dave Agema.  Agema remarked that gays live a “filthy lifestyle,” that gays try to turn people away from Christianity, and that gays “want free medical [care] because they are dying.”  These comments are hurtful, and they add no value to the public policy debate.  Instead, Agema’s comments only serve to detract from the Republican Party’s high-quality ideas, characterizing us, instead, as hateful, ill-informed bigots.

Republicans should not scorn gay equality under the law.  We should celebrate it.  Philosophically, morally, and politically, gay equality is consistent with the aims of the Republican Party.  Philosophically, we Republicans believe in equality under the law.  We’re the Party that formed to oppose the evil spread of slavery, and today, at least in theory, we still give great deference to the idea that all Americans should be equal under the law.  The government should not pick winners and losers.  Picking winners and losers is for the Democrats.  They use the government to punish the economically successful; they use the government to favor pet projects like Solyndra.

Gay equality makes sense morally because it strengthens households bound by marriage; it increases the adoption of children without homes; and it recognizes that all Americans possess the same fundamental human dignity that commands respect.

Politically, the writing is on the wall.  Led by the millennial generation, more and more Americans think gay equality under the law is the right thing to do.  Gallup found in July that 69% of those 18 to 34 years old think marriage should be legalized in every state.  Immediately.   Statistics wizard Nate Silver writes that by 2020, a majority of voters in 44 states will support gay marriage.  In short, the Republican Party can either ride the impending gay marriage wave, or it can get swept away by it.

We realize that not all Republicans think gays should be equal under the law.  In fact, most don’t.  We understand this position, and we appreciate their hesitancy to change any social structure that has functioned well for many years.  However, we ask that these Republicans, and especially Republican leaders, do not descend to demeaning gay Americans and the equality movement through unsubstantiated vitriol.  This will only shrink the Party.

We salute you for asking committeeman Agema to step back within the bounds of what is appropriate.  Gay Americans and supporters of the pro-equality movement are not intrinsically hostile to Republican ideas (see, e.g., how well David Cameron recently did with gay voters).  However, only once we treat these Americans with respect, and show them that they are welcome in the Party, will they join us in larger numbers.  Your recent comments took a major stride in this direction, and we hope that you will continue to speak out against comment like Agema’s, and we hope that you will encourage fellow leading Republicans to do the same.

You have our appreciation,

Metro Weekly: “Signs of a coming gay reckoning for the GOP”

Justin Snow of Metro Weekly wrote last week about some of the unfolding GOP/LGBT stories:  1) Dave Agema,  2) Reince Preibus’s calls for Agema to resign, 3) Preibus’s calls for the Republican Party to be more inclusive, and 4) Jimmy LaSalvia’s leaving the party,

Basically, the tone of the piece is that the Republican Party will eventually shift on gay equality.  But will it happen before or after the Party has lost every pro-equality voter?

 

Log Cabin challenges Agema to debate

Boxing-Gloves-iconCan we get a swing in?

From Log Cabin Republicans site:

“Dave Agema just doesn’t get it, so I’m personally challenging him to a debate,” Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo declared.  . . .  [“]I’m offering Mr. Agema the opportunity to defend his brand of ‘conservatism’ in a debate with Log Cabin Republicans. Let’s get together — Republican to Republican — and have this out once and for all.”

Our posts on Agema (here, here, and here).

Could Justin Amash Make the GOP Gay Friendly?

— By Cathy Reisenwitz

When Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema publicly claimed that  “gay men only want universal health care because they’re dying of AIDS,” no one expected an outcry from the GOP. But Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) is defying expectations of Republican leadership right and left. He recently joined other Michigan GOP leaders in calling for Agema to step down from his post.

“Defending civil liberties is at the heart of the Republican Party and our Constitution,” Amash said in a statement. “As I’ve demonstrated with my words and record, I am trying to grow a new generation of Republicans that includes more gays and lesbians, racial-ethnic minorities, women, and young people.” Continue reading

Proof: Gays not reflexively liberal Democrats

Britain's David Cameron offers a great data point of what will happen to the gay vote when a conservative supports gay rights.   Image from:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/26/gay-voters-more-likely-favour-david-cameron

Britain’s David Cameron offers a great data point of what will happen to the gay vote when a conservative supports gay rights.
Image from: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/26/gay-voters-more-likely-favour-david-cameron

— By Stephen Richer

It’s assumed that gays are liberal Democrats (see, e.g,, Ramon Johnson and Matt Barnum).  And for that reason, some Republicans don’t consider the gay vote worth pursuing.  Gays, according to Republican Dave Agema, want a liberal government healthcare system because that’s just their nature/lifestyle.

“Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they’re dying (when they’re) between 30 and 44 years old.” — Dave Agema

Voting patterns support the gays-as-liberal-Democrats thesis.  Gays make up 5% of the presidential vote, and 76% of gays voted for Obama in 2012.   State races return similar results.

But is gay support for Democrats instinctive and unbreakable?  Or is it because Democrats have the edge on gay rights?

Testing this is hard.  It would require a rerun of the 2012 election while equalizing the candidates’s positions and parties’ positions on gay rights.  Harris Interactive took a guess:  “A Harris Interactive-Logo TV poll that showed if Romney had the same stance on gay issues as President Obama, 22 percent of gay voters said they would be ‘more likely to vote for Romney.’”

22% is a huge jump.  That would have put the 2012 gay vote at 54% for Obama to 44% for Romney — a differential more Republican-friendly than the Jewish vote, Latino vote, youth vote, black vote, and even the female vote. (NY Times exit poll)

Of course, that’s just the conjecture of Harris Interactive.  But now we have a real data point: British Prime Minister David Cameron.  In the last UK general election, only 11% of gays favored Cameron’s right-of-center party, the Conservative Party.  But in July of this year, Cameron announced support for gay marriage and broad gay rights — a departure from his party’s median position.

The effect?  There hasn’t been a new election, but polls suggest a huge rise in gay support for the Conservative Party and Cameron.  In a system with plenty of party options, a whopping 30% of gay voters said they would vote Conservative in the upcoming general elections.  When asked specifically about the office of Prime Minister, 46% of gays said they will support Cameron; 37% expressed support for the Labour Party’s Ed Miliban; and 17% for the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Clegg.  (The Guardian)

It’s not every day that social scientists get such a nice controlled experiment, so let’s heed its  suggestion:  Gays are not reflexively liberal.  If a Republican candidate bravely steps out in favor of gay rights, we can expect a chunk of gays to vote Republican.

 

The Republican “Sister Souljah” Moment of 2013

— By Matthew Bechstein

It wasn’t long ago that Michigan’s Republican National Committeeman, Dave Agema roused national headlines for anti-gay comments he made on his personal Facebook page. Now nearly a year later, when most Americans have forgotten about the blunder, Agema again demonstrate an affinity for the taste of his own foot.

While speaking at a recent GOP event in Michigan, Mr. Agema suggested that members of the gay community want free healthcare because they are dying earlier in life than most Americans. To substantiate his bizarre claims, Agema referenced an incident Continue reading

Log Cabin calls for Dave Agema’s resignation + You can too!

— By Stephen Richer

We posted on Tuesday about the comments made by Dave Agema, One of Michigan’s representatives to the Republican National Committee.

Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they’re dying (when they’re) between 30 and 44 years old,  . . .  As a matter of fact when Jesus caught a woman in the act of adultery when they brought her to him he said, ‘I don’t condemn you but go and sin no more.’ . . .  We ought to be saying to these people, ‘Hey, we don’t agree with your lifestyle and we’ll help you get out of it, but we want you to know the facts of what’s going to happen to you if you stay in this lifestyle.  (from The Washington Post)

Today, our friends the Log Cabin Republicans called for Agema to resign (see letter below).  If you want to join in the worthwhile campaign (I will be), then follow Log Cabin’s instructions posted on Twitter and call the RNC and the Michigan Republican Party.

Log Cabin letter:

Washington, D.C. & Bay City, Michigan — Log Cabin Republicans National and Log Cabin Republicans of Michigan today jointly issued a call for the removal of Michigan RNC Committeeman, Dave Agema, for his unwarranted anti-gay rhetoric.

In a recent speech, Agema used antiquated science Continue reading