Republican Friends:

I won’t be able to join you this weekend at the State Committee meeting in Lansing due to previously scheduled plans with my family.  I wish you all safe travels as you make the trek.

I’m sure many of you have read or have been questioned about the recent comments that our National Committeeman Dave Agema gave at the Berrien County Christmas gathering last week.  At the meeting, while attempting to remind member about the importance of party unity as we head into the very important election season, Dave made some additional comments of a personal nature regarding those who are homosexual.  As reported by the St. Joseph -Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium, he said, “Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they’re dying (when they’re) between 30 and 44 years old.”

Quite often words we say will be taken out of context by newspaper reporters looking to make a big headline.  Editors want a big splash so they can sell papers and advertising.  I’m willing to give our National Committeeman the benefit of the doubt that the bulk of the viral nature of his comments are because of this spin by the media.

However, I have taken issue with Mr. Agema’s stance on homosexuals in the past.  I am on record calling for him to apologize for his Facebook comments posted earlier this year.  I did so because his bigoted comments, regardless if they are personal in nature (which are thankfully not reflective of our party) does nothing to strengthen our candidates or promote our policies in the world of elected office.  I find myself in the position where I must do so again.

As I said in March of this year in regards to the First Amendment, “When we exercise these rights, we accept responsibility for the results of that exercise.”  You’ll notice that I’m using my First Amendment rights not to express bigotry and I urge all of us to do the same.

All of our party leaders, myself included, must be mindful both of the desire of the media to spin flippant comments in to more than they are, as well as the hurdles bigoted statements can place on those who are on the frontlines of our efforts … especially our precinct delegates and our candidates.

I can not be successful as the current chair of the Republican Party of Kalamazoo County if our state leaders allow their comments to be used to open up flanks we can not afford to cover.

I urge you, during your conversations with Committeeman Agema, and indeed with all of those present this upcoming weekend, to take the opportunity to remind each other of this.  Remind our leaders that they must make things better, not more difficult, to expand our party and voter base.

Thanks for reading my email.  Again, I wish you safe travels, a very Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.

Very Sincerely Yours,

David Quinton Worthams, MSLS
2012-2014 Chairman, Kalamazoo County Republican Party
Member, Michigan State Board of Real Estate Appraisers
Commissioner, Kalamazoo County Road Commission
87th Past President – Michigan Jaycees
JCI Senator #69822 and 69th Past President – Kalamazoo Jaycees