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Mich. governor condemns GOP leader’s remark that gays are dying of AIDS

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan has condemned GOP National Committee member Dave Agema’s statement that gay people are seeking health insurance for same-sex partners because they are dying of AIDS and want free medical care.

Gov. Rick Snyder (left) and Dave Agema

Gov. Rick Snyder (left) and Dave Agema

Agema made the comments against people living with HIV and the LGBT communities while speaking Dec. 5 at the Berrien County, Mich., Republican Party Holiday Reception.

He told the group that he opposes same-sex marriage and said that Republicans who support it are wrong.

“I stand for traditional marriage, not homosexual ones,” Agema said. He said that during his time with American Airlines he witnessed LGBT workers claiming a person living with AIDS as their partner simply so that person could get medical benefits.

“Folks, they want free medical because they’re dying between 38 and 44 years old,” he said. “It’s a biggie. So, to me it’s a moral issue. It’s a biblical issue. Traditional marriage is where it should be and that is in our platform, so people that are opposed on that issue within our party are wrong.”

Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Wednesday that the governor considers the remarks “extreme and discriminatory.”

“We shouldn’t tolerate discrimination of any kind,” said Wurfel. “We must make sure everyone is treated with respect and civility.”

Wurfel did not address calls by some people that Agema should resign.

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Agema said in an email that the news media “twisted my speech out of context,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

“I was simply making a point about my opposition to same-sex benefits and for traditional marriage,” Agema said. “I stand by my words as I said them despite efforts by others to twist the meaning of those words.”

In May, Snyder declined to comment when asked if Agema should resign over an anti-gay posting on Facebook. Agema posted an excerpt from an article that included the assertion that gays account for half the murders in large cities.

Snyder said then that discrimination of any kind is inappropriate and “it’s important we stand up for all people.”

Another western Michigan Republican official issued a statement Wednesday night condemning Agema’s latest anti-gay statement.

“No doubt, there will continue to be disagreement with regard to social issues, especially if the tenets of one’s faith conflict with a proposal or law,” said state Rep. Joe Haverman of Holland. “But as a Christian man who seeks to walk as Christ taught, I believe differences of opinion should come from a place of love, not a place of hatred and disgust for people who may differ from us.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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92 more reader comments:

  1. “Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Wednesday that the governor considers the remarks “extreme and discriminatory.”
    “We shouldn’t tolerate discrimination of any kind,” said Wurfel. “We must make sure everyone is treated with respect and civility.”” So how about that marriage equality?!? We are waiting.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:21am
  2. awesome. A voice of reason.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:21am
  3. Snyder is far from the voice of reason. It just happens he is trying to make face at the moment.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:39am
  4. We’re all dying, hello.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:21am
  5. Michigan has /no/ right to get involved in /anything/ regarding insurance.
    Not after today.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:23am
  6. Yeah, sorry to say…….

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:52am
  7. Wha-I…bu- wh-.. done. so done.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:24am
  8. And yet… this is the SAME MAN that has SCREWED our state over, JUST to put $$ in his “FRIENDS” pockets! Sorry!! Too little, TOO LATE!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:25am
  9. Yes Yvonne Dever, this crap goes on in most every state in this country. When is it time to think and really take back OUR country?

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:53am
  10. That’s great. Dickheads like that other senator need to be called out on their stupidity. Unfortunately there are plenty of uneducated or clueless people who will beileve his lines of B.S.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:25am
  11. At least it shows in it that not all republicans are like that douche

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:25am
  12. What Douche Erika? I hate republican douches.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:53am
  13. Hhahah ok guys stop dying of aids already sheesh. ..
    This is brutal.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:25am
  14. Michael Simcoe, Are you really that much of a "Sim" pleton or just insane. If you have a way for people to stop dying of Aids, GIVE IT UP!!!!!!! Or shut the the fuck up you moron.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:51am
  15. Nothing but a stereotyplical piece oh shit. Been paying for my own health insurance for years. Go fuck yourself. Yea I’m gay and can’t stand your small minded thinking.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:25am
  16. That’s actually really cool of Gov. Snyder, but I’m still not a fan of the guy!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:26am
  17. Oh you come from the land of bailouts by us tax payers. Geaux figure you piece of shit.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:26am
  18. It is amazing how a bigot makes a statement and gets called on it, suddenly his bigoted words are “all twisted around.” Amazing gall these dinosaurs have.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:27am
  19. What the fuck are you talking about "Ron"

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:03am
  20. Who's twisting around what "RON LAW"? Who's side are you on [if any]? And if you even care, I am on the GAY side!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:06am
  21. ok so i know afew people in the LGBT world (me being one of them) and non have aids, and it hasnt been dying of aids in a very long time, theres alittle thing i dont know how much of the world has it or if he has seen it, but its called MEDICINE and scene we found it people with aids are living with aids not dieing from it, at least not in this part of the world, so unless hes talking about parts of Africa i dont think he knows what the fuck he is talking about.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:29am
  22. Idiot

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:29am
  23. Rita Pacheco , who are you calling an idiot? And if it is Javan Cardillo. YOU ARE THE FUCKING IDIOT!!!!!!! And if it is Javan Cardillo., you are a fucking whore also. If not then please explain your one word response.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:57am
  24. disgraziata!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:33am
  25. Rick would say or do anything to keep peace in Michigan. He cannot afford to have his closest comrads running amuk!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:33am
  26. wow

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:33am
  27. The hell I do I just want u to compromise and do what u where sent by people like me voted u in.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:35am
  28. Lol..Michigan has issues…

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:42am
  29. Agema should have just kept his mouth shut. Now we all know how ignorant he is instead of just wondering about it.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:44am
  30. he should be ashamed he gave so many aids..

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:51am
  31. Immediate termination for this douchenozzle. Snyder, may you never have to suffer the pain and torment of living with HIV, or watching your loved ones DIE because of ignorant fucks like you.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:52am
  32. There is an adage that claims ..”Ignorance is bliss”…it needs to be revised to say ” Ignorance is dangerous ” when it is held as truth by politicians. Be afraid America be very afraid!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:54am
  33. Robert w. Haven, I am afraid but I am ready to fight back to death if necessary.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:47am
  34. He’s a schmuck!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:55am
  35. Ignorant politicians R elected by ignorant in educated people

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:59am
  36. Richard Sand, what other choices do we have? If you can fix this crap I would vote for you in a heartbeat. But all we have to choose from in every election is just another bunch of corrupt bullshit rip-off lying so-called politicians. Time for a REAL revolution. It's time for WAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:59am
  37. Uneducated

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:00am
  38. $50 that Agema will be named in a same-sex scandal at some point. People who spew this sort of vitriol and hate speech are generally directing it inward.

    He is most certainly a schmuck and not at all surprising that he used the a RNC event to espouse this sort of crap.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:06am
  39. Oh no Richard there are very educated people who have elected such people.. It would appease a sense of desire to understand if it were just “uneducated” but sadly this is not the truth.. Which then pulls back a layer of reality .. There are those who have a developed belief system that rationalizes the very conviction that this person has honestly admitted .. That’s not ignorance. That informed bigotry.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:08am
  40. which is which they look like twins.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:08am
  41. He’s a dirty trouser stain.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:14am
  42. The governor of Michigan has proved his lack of empathy repeatedly. He’s an idiot.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:14am
  43. I call it willful-ignorance. Because it’s not “educated”. It is bigotry. And for the section of the population who fall into this category, they know better, they have all the real information and facts…they just choose to be ignorant. Wether it’s based on their religion or a thousand other possible things that helps them (in their own mind) justify their terrible actions and words.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:16am
  44. Silver Layna, Just a little unclear here. Are you for or against gays and the free will of America?

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:51am
  45. someone needs to cut him with their “gay ring” lol

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:49am
  46. took him long enough

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:49am
  47. I am a 43 year old gay man pay my taxes work hard and don’t plan on dieing next year. So maybe the shouldn’t generalize people. I have never asked for anything free.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:59am
  48. I would tell him to “bite me” but he might twist my words around and do it. I might end up with a case of bigotry. What a DOUCHE!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:12am
  49. Here i thought we were fighting for equal right i never once expected free healthcare…….oh wait in canada everyone is entitled to free basic healthcare….family doctors hospital visits…etc……in canada we even have goverment assitince programs for long term hospitalization and more severe health issues….lol

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:30am
  50. Yeah Christopher Glenn Kubik from Canada, You haven't fixed a damn thing in Canada. You give what? about 60% of your wages to the government for whatever.And your socialist government has taken most of your wages to give to the lazy bastards that won't work in your country. Goody for you lazy fucks that won't work in Canada, thank your fellow countrymen for giving their hard earned wages to you.And as for you hard working countrymen in Canada, just like China, thanks for stealing all of America's jobs. You, like China couldn't design a damn thing except internet theft programs and anti life genetic engineering.. Sounds just like Russia to me. Socialist Canada Oh yeah, and I bet you really enjoy that providence called Quebec. They are French!!! That's even worse than Russia, I'll bet you are so proud of them. Always wanting to succeed from the rest of "Canada". Go freeze your asses off who cares?

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:16am
  51. Are you related to Dave Agema?

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:33pm
  52. The GOP, what complete uncaring morons they are.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:42am
  53. He need to be canned ASAP

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:51am
  54. THE GOP LEADER LOOKS LIKE SANDUSKY

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:58am
  55. Sviđa mi se cool

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:05am
  56. Go fword yourself!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:08am
  57. @Rich Hanson…I stand for Equality. I am for, this country embracing equality and diversity and completely ridding itself of discrimination.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:15am
  58. who can stand listening to this garbage from these fucking brainless pieces of shit.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:49am
  59. Im sorry Rich hanson im not sure what you think you know about canada but i wouldnt expect much from closed minded american like you….just feel like trashing canadians because you feel insecure as an american…..i mean only 90% of the world hates you…..but im glad not all americans are like you or personally id wish nothing but the worst for you ppl…closed minded think you know all assholes…….but like i said not all americans are like you and thank god…..i would advise you to take care in what you say…..you dont know canada worth shit….hell most americans know fuck all about thier own country nvm any other country……and DONT YOU EVER COMPARE ANY PART OF CANDA TO RUSSIA………oh and another thing you useless pile of american trash…..i have disliked alot of the states since i was a little kid….always thought you ppl were to arrogant and pig headed for your own good

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:53am
  60. Can someone kindly tell Mr. Agema to “Take your comment and shove it where the sun don’t shine” in the meanest way possible, yeah that would be great. I’m not gay but I doubt that the LGBT are trying to get free healthcare because they’re dying from AIDS when I’m pretty sure there are more straight carriers of the disease than LGBT. Most LGBT are smarter than this dumbass pictured on the right and probably more educated. That stupid ass comment he made should’ve gotten him impeached.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:24am
  61. Wow Rich Hanson you really are an asshole i dont know what high horse your riding but your making no friends i would suggest you shut up and can your mouth before it lands you in trouble with other americans……. im sure the ones here watching you run your mouth feel insulted to have you as a fellow american

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:04am
  62. Snyder’s no saint. If he really want to impress he should beat this guy’s ass!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:16am
  63. Gov. Snyder thanks for the statement….NOW…Take the rhetoric and keep it all….TALK IS CHEAP when politicians are pandering for votes by ‘saying the right thing”

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:19am
  64. SAD…-’:(

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:55am
  65. These are elected officials? We gays should unite and remove them from office!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:11am
  66. BGlad I live in the UK so don’t have to worry about these idiots that America is full of,when are they going to get into the 21st century & not stuck in 18th century

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:29am
  67. why would we need that

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:08am
  68. It figures, The only ones who know more about gay man and what gay men do is a Republican men.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:25am
  69. from Michigan, the state that just passed rape insurance for women….stay classy, dumbfucks.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:26am
  70. India supreme Court recriminilizes homosexuality. We shouldn’t stay silent (((( https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=583971115008054&set=a.435785439826623.98479.416271601778007&type=1&theater

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:18am
  71. What a bigot. Who cares what your religion preaches? Whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:39am
  72. These guys look related.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:53am
  73. Let’s give both them ASSES the boot

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:55am
  74. Well gov. of Mich. so do the straight people. because the government is sitting on the cure and they will not release it because they are making to much money on the illness. Stick that where the sun don’t shine and then smoke it.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:01pm
  75. lol hes most likey a closet queen , HE FALLS RIGHT IN LINE with the other gay men in the repukelican party,

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:36pm
  76. I hope we never forget the struggles of our past that have allowed us to realize the change we are experiencing today.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:12pm
  77. Obviously this man doesn’t know that PEOPLE are living with AIDS. Straights and Gays. What an uneducated pig.
    Next election you are OUT Mr.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:49pm
  78. Good for YOU Mr governor!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:55pm
  79. Asshole!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:57pm
  80. “Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Wednesday that the governor considers the remarks “extreme and discriminatory.”
    “We shouldn’t tolerate discrimination of any kind,” said Wurfel. “We must make sure everyone is treated with respect and civility.”” So how about that marriage equality?!? We are waiting.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:09pm
  81. Well you know, he has a forgiving God. That appearently gives u the right to be such an asshole….smh

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:13pm
  82. The hate, discrimination and outright ignorance of Dave Agema is astounding….

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:18pm
  83. Dumb ass republican!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:24pm
  84. This is the same Michigan governor who decided to centralize power in the state, robbing towns and cities of their rights by declaring the state could negate any town’s charter and replace the city council with a city manager appointed by the state.

    Yeah, he’s totally sincere.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:35pm
  85. What a idiot if would educate him self straight people spread aids

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:38pm
  86. It astounds me that people as ignorant as this made it past 6th grade!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:40pm
  87. Good cop, bad cop.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:51pm
  88. Mr.Agema I’m sorry I dont mean to be judgemental but you have brains of a penis and it time for you to retire. We dont need any kind of negativity from you or anybody I seggest you should keep your comments to yourself. You know the saying one who judge’s, judges themselves.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:12pm
  89. What an Idiot!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:04pm
  90. Asshole

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:26pm
  91. Really?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 1:32am
  92. Gays are dying from aids and babies and children are dying from cancer. You have “power” FIX it rather then bitch about it.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 7:42am