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Michigan

Mich. governor: Will discuss expanding gay rights, but won’t take the lead

Monday, December 16, 2013

LANSING, Mich. — Republican Gov. Rick Snyder says he’s open to the idea of extending civil rights protections to gay people, as long as the GOP-led Michigan Legislature is ready to collaborate.

Jake May, APGov. Rick Snyder speaks Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at the Flint Assembly Plant. in Flint, Mich.

Jake May, AP
Gov. Rick Snyder speaks Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at the Flint Assembly Plant. in Flint, Mich.

Gay rights and the Republican Party have come to the fore in recent days because of the controversy over Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema’s anti-gay remarks at a party event in Berrien County.

Snyder criticized Agema’s remarks as “discriminatory” and said he is willing to participate in talks to give gay people civil rights in Michigan, but won’t lead the way, MLive.com (http://bit.ly/1ejnBpf ) reported Monday.

“I’ll wait for, most likely, a signal from the Legislature to say they’re open to having that discussion,” Snyder said. “There is some openness likely there. I think the speaker has made some comments along those lines. I’m willing to have that dialogue, but I need a partner to have it with.”

A spokesman for House Speaker House Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, said that behind-the-scenes talks are underway on expanding civil rights protections.

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Ari Adler said that most sides agree on the need to do something, but they haven’t decided how to proceed. Bolger is concerned about balancing respect for gay residents with respect for the religious beliefs of employers, tenants or service providers, Adler said.

“Should a devout religious person who owns a small business be forced by the government to violate their religious beliefs and hire someone or provide services to someone who is leading a lifestyle that they cannot embrace because of their religious teachings?” Adler asked in an email. “That, counter-balanced with an individual’s right to personal liberty and being able to live freely and openly, is where the struggle lies.”

Speaking Dec. 5 at a Berrien County Republican Party holiday reception, Agema said he opposes gay marriage and said that Republicans who support it are wrong. He also said that gay people are pushing for free medical care “because they’re dying between 38 and 44 years old” from AIDS.

Agema, a former state representative, was chosen to his Republican National Committee post at a state GOP convention.

Democrats have been pushing for his resignation. He has defended his remarks.

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23 more reader comments:

  1. a true puppet if I ever saw one.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:29am
  2. Coward

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:30am
  3. Gay rights are human rights.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:32am
  4. This man is not to be trusted. With anything. His administration is currently defending the marriage ban in Michigan.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:32am
  5. Dawn Lowe – he really is a complete coward and a horrible governor.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:35am
  6. Wuss!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:37am
  7. when you don’t take the lead, you can’t be blamed….a stance he takes often

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:37am
  8. Chicken shit!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:44am
  9. Vulgar AND QUITE APPROPRIATE! ;)

    Replied on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 5:44pm
  10. Shame he won’t.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:49am
  11. Leading from behind.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:49am
  12. He isn’t gonna do anything. He’s gonna talk it up until elections and go back on his words like he did last election. Don’t believe anything he says!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 3:09am
  13. And that’s why you need to be removed!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 3:11am
  14. …and people in Michigan voted him into office. Time to vote him out, wouldn’t you say?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 3:12am
  15. Piece of Shit!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 3:37am
  16. Come on, Rick. You got two balls, don’t you?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 3:44am
  17. Fence Sitting / the Art of Politics !!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 4:17am
  18. What are you scared of?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 4:45am
  19. Well isn’t that big of them.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11:12am
  20. Seems to think he needs to keep a low profile in order to be re-elected. Yeah,…dream on with the re-election thing.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11:14am
  21. Funny. A Governor that won’t lead. Sorta like a car that won’ t run.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11:26am
  22. Step it up and be a leader unless ur just someones puppet! Speak up, open ur mouth and say something for all us girls who love to go down south…..on each other! Hahaha….nicole

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 1:55pm
  23. A bit more courage, Mr. Governor.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11:58pm