Unlike yesterday’s blog, which was just my personal opinion on the issue of same-sex marriage, this blog comes from my official role as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Kalamazoo County (KGOP). Today, I release the following statement about a recent Facebook post that GOP National Committeeman Dave Agema made yesterday:
I stand behind MiGOP Chairman Schostak’s statement that our support for traditional marriage shouldn’t be used to convey any form of hate or discrimination towards anyone. The Facebook posts by National Committeeman Dave Agema are disgusting and do not reflect what the Party stands for.
While I respect the Committeeman’s right to free speech, as protected by the First Amendment, I also have the same right to both free speech and free association. When we exercise these rights, we accept responsibility for the results of that exercise. I choose not to be associated with his remarks.
Similar statements and cherry picked statistics were made back in 1966 to support a ban on interracial marriage when Loving v. Virginia was before the Supreme Court of the United States. Being in an interracial marriage, I’m a little sensitive to these types of comments. They were wrong then and they are wrongly used now.
I cannot silently stand by while one of our Party leaders promotes bigoted statements and then tries to hide from the damage caused by saying “It was someone else’s research.” At the least, the Committeeman needs to apologize for his failure to clearly fact check the statements he posts and if he cannot, then he needs to step down so the Party can rebuild the bridges that have been burned.
My job as the Chairman of the KGOP is to build our membership and get our candidates elected so that fiscally sound policies are adopted. The actions of Committeeman Agema do nothing but hinder our ability to come together as a Party and promote diversity in our membership.