News (USA)

DNC chair condemns Michigan GOP, says they tolerate anti-gay bias

FERNDALE, Mich. — The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee has joined leading state Democrats in condemning Michigan Republicans for their handling of anti-gay remarks by a GOP National Committee member and their failure to extend civil rights to gays.

APDebbie Wasserman Schultz
Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Democratic National Committee leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters and gubernatorial candidate Mark Shauer at a gay rights forum Tuesday in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale.

Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema attacked same-sex marriage, and said that gays want free healthcare because they are dying of AIDS.

Agema said that during his career 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 (gay people) want free medical because they’re dying (when they’re) between 30 and 44 years old,” he said. “To me, it’s a moral issue. It’s a Biblical issue. Traditional marriage is where it should be and it’s in our platform. Those in our party who oppose traditional marriage are wrong,” said Agema.

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Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has condemned Agema but hasn’t urged his resignation. Snyder says he’d consider but won’t lead the push for expanding the state’s civil rights act to cover sexual orientation.

Earlier this year, Agema came under fire after he posted an excerpt on Facebook from an article titled “Everyone Should Know These Statistics On Homosexuals.”

Among the claims in the article is that gay people “account for half the murders in large cities” and that “part of the homosexual agenda is to get the public to affirm their filthy lifestyle.”

Wasserman Schultz says “intolerance is in the Republican Party’s DNA.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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