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Michigan GOP official who made anti-gay remarks rejects calls to resign

Michigan GOP official who made anti-gay remarks rejects calls to resign

WASHINGTON — A Michigan member of the Republican National Committee rejected calls to resign Friday after making anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks.

Dave Agema said he’s made mistakes but pledged to continue to “honor the trust and fulfill the responsibilities to those in the Michigan Republican Party that elected me.”

Dave Agema
Dave Agema

He issued a statement hours after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan Party Chairman Bobby Schostak called for his resignation.

“For the good of the party, we believe Dave Agema should resign,” Preibus and Schostak said in a joint statement.

Last March, Agema posted an article on Facebook with an unsubstantiated claim that gays account for half the murders in large cities. In December, he told Berrien County Republicans that his experience as an American Airlines pilot made him familiar with efforts by gays to get health insurance coverage because of the ravages of AIDS.

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He also came under fire from the Council on American-Islamic Relations for a Facebook posting this month questioning Muslims’ commitment to charity.

A number of leading Democrats and several Republican members of Michigan’s congressional delegation already have called on him to resign.

“I acknowledge errors in judgment and how I addressed them, feel badly about the impact this has had on many here in the land I love, and have learned valuable lessons about the requirements and responsibilities that are to be expected and honored by all who are in leadership positions, including myself,” Agema said.

He said he appreciates the “charitable efforts” of Muslim-Americans and apologizes for posting an article on Facebook “that has been re-quoted as my words.”

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