Pandering to the far right is bad for Michigan’s economy and our families
Governor Rick Snyder refused to join the chorus who called for Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign after the former member of Michigan’s House of Representatives.
The party’s leadership was okay with a year of anti-gay comments but an especially vile anti-Muslim post made them realize that Agema could actually cost them votes. However, the governor could even be that bold. Instead, hemade a vague appeal in his State of the State address for “a greater degree of civility and respect towards others of different backgrounds and different views.”
This week, within hours of Agema — who still hasn’t resigned — announcing that the “devil” was after him for speaking the truth, Governor Snyder asked a federal judge to uphold his ban on benefits for same-sex couples.
Cowardly cloaking his ban in language of fiscal responsibility, the governor is insisting on doing everything he can to keep the state mired in the hateful policies of the past that many legal scholars expect to reversed completely with a decision that spreads the federal marriage rights granted in United States v. Windsor to be spread to all 50 states in a Loving v. Virginia-like decision.
This Mike Thompson cartoon of Snyder trying to stop Lincoln from signing the Emancipation Proclamation because of “all the revenue” that would be saved, sums up how despicable Snyder’s argument is.
Anti-gay policies don’t just justify animus toward a minority that suffers egregious abuse, they hurt our economy. They drive college graduates out of the state and they force professionals to reconsider their careers in Michigan.
Agema’s cartoonish homophobia and the comic way that the GOP can’t get rid of him after encouraging his vitriol for years may even help the LGBQT movement. He exemplifies why most young people see the Republican Party as a remnant of a disgraceful past littered with angry old white men yelling into payphones. Same-sex marriage is simply a settled issue for the vast majority of Americans under 30.
Until the Supreme Court acts or millennials are old enough to vote these couples the basic rights they deserve, “civility and respect” would be nice. But they mean nothing if they do not come with the basic ability for gay couples to act as a family without being forced into a legal closet where their rights are denied for political gain.
Actually, Dave Agema shows same-sex couples more respect by publicly calling them names. At least, he’s not pretending to be civil.