This Republican National Committee member thinks Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws are great

A Michigan GOP politician who sits on the Republican National Committee has taken his notorious anti-gay rhetoric to a new level, posting on Facebook that he thinks Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws are “common sense.”

According to a report from the Washington Blade, Dave Agema posted a comment with a link to an article from the Illinois Family Institute.

“Read their law. Common sense in Russia,” Agema wrote with the link to the right wing group’s article. The article asserts that “mainstream press” coverage of the law usually fails to “include any details of the text of the law and its inoffensive — some would argue wholly appropriate — content.”

The law, which Russia adopted last summer, prohibits any “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” in venues accessible to minors — amounting to a ban on any public support for LGBT rights. The law claims that this so-called “gay propaganda” could harm the “health and moral and spiritual development, as well as form misperceptions (sic) about the social equivalence of conventional and unconventional sexual relationships” among young people.

Illinois Family Institute cultural analyst Laurie Higgins concludes that “prohibiting the distribution of homosexuality-affirming resources to minors is both reasonable and wise.”

Agema has a long history of disseminating vicious anti-gay rhetoric. Last year, he shared an article on his Facebook page that contained widely debunked information attacking LGBT people. He also told a GOP gathering in Michigan that gay people supported health care reform mainly because so many are dying of AIDS, along with claiming that some are falsely posing as domestic partners to get benefits from employer-provided health insurance.

“This is outrageous that a leader of the national Republican Party, my political party, is siding with an autocratic regime that believes in arresting political opponents, censoring reporters, jailing dissidents, and eliminating free speech,” Michigan Republican activist Dennis Lennox told the Blade regarding Agema’s latest post. “Russia and the Putin regime — other than maybe Iran, North Korea, and China — is the last regime the Republican Party or one of its leaders should associate itself with.”

Gay conservative and former GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia said the RNC needs to condemn Agema’s views.

“Every time Agema or someone said something like this — not as bad as this — they’ve always said, ‘We need to treat everyone with dignity and respect on issues like that, he doesn’t speak for the RNC, etc.,’” LaSalvia told the Blade. “They’ve never denounced what he said and said he’s wrong, and that’s what they need to do, but nobody over there seems to have the guts to denounce him.”

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