Dennis Lennox, a Grand Traverse County Republican precinct delegate who formerly served as county drain commissioner, joined 21 other Republicans in calling for Agema to resign because of a message Agema posted Wednesday on his Facebook page as the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing arguments in a case challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.
The newspaper said the post was based on an online article titled "Everyone Should Know These Statistics on Homosexuals," which asserts gays account for a disproportionate percentage of sexually transmitted disease rates and are responsible for "half the murders in large cities," 50 percent of suicides and sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children in Los Angeles. That article was posted traditioninaction.org under the byline Frank Joseph, M.D.
"This isn't about what we believe either politically or as women and men of faith," the statement urging Agema's resignation said. "This is about common decency and realizing that you cannot win an election by insulting a wide swath of the electorate, whose votes our Republican Party needs to once again form a national majority."
In response, Agema put up another Facebook post saying he was providing "facts" that made many people uncomfortable, the Lansing, Mich., political publication Gongwer reported.
In an email to the Free Press, Agema said he thought the article he posted was "worth sharing given the debate over gay marriage that is happening in the Supreme Court."
"I strongly maintain my position in support of marriage between a man and a woman and I will not back down from my core beliefs in support of strengthening the family," he said.
Michigan Republican Party spokesman Matt Frendewy had no comment on Republicans' call for Agema to resign, the newspaper said.
"The Republican party believes every American deserves the utmost respect and dignity and we are a party that believes in traditional marriage," he said. "But that should never be confused with any form of discrimination or hate and any message to the contrary undermines the optimism and solutions that our party provides to people."