Michigan County GOP Chairman Represents Party’s Shifting Attitude Towards Gay Marriage

WorthamsPolls may suggest that the Republican Party is slowly but surely inching its way towards LGBT acceptance, but Dave Worthams is living proof. The Kalamazoo County GOP chairman isn’t gay, but happens to be in an interracial marriage and said he sees the parallels between the anti-miscegenation laws in the 20th century and laws today that ban same-sex marriage. MLive's Julie Mack reports:

"There were numerous people who marched on the streets, got attacked by dogs, so someone like me could love a white woman, a Hispanic woman," Worthams said, and he's come to think that the same rights should be extended to gay couples.

"At the end of the day, you should be able to love with who you want," Worthams said.

Worthams hopes that, like the 1967 landmark ruling in Loving v. Virginia that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage, the marriage equality issues will be solved at the U.S. Supreme Court level. Same-sex marriages briefly took place in Michigan last weekend but a stay was granted by the 6th circuit court of appeals.  

While the judicial system battle plays out, Wortham said that as a Republican leader his goals are to minimize gay marriage as a divisive issue in the party and let others outside the party know that there is a diversity of opinion within the GOP.

Dave agemaHe singled out fellow Michigan GOP chairman Dave Agema as an example of someone who doesn’t “get the bigger picture about treating people with compassion.” Agema, you'll recall, made headlines a few months ago after making a series of virulently anti-gay statements that eventually led to calls for his resignation from local, state, and national party leaders. (Agema refused)

Worthams said he is frustrated that people see Agema as representing the GOP mainstream as opposed to just a fringe individual.

"Not all Republican leaders are trying to keep people apart," he said. "I think there are allies all around (for the GLBT community.)  There are allies in places that are unexpected."


  1. Mags says

    “Not all Republican leaders are trying to keep people apart”.

    I really appreciate Mr. Worthams’s lovely words and sentiment, they give hope to those living in too-red states. However, that being said, his specific comment regarding Republican Leaders begs to differ when reviewing indelible facts and personal comments made by said “Republican Leaders” in the past 8 years, or so.

    Truth of the matter is, and still, not all Republicans are homophobic sh!ts, but unfortunately most homophobic comments were made by Republican Leaders in the past few years. More accurately, a very strong and decisive margin of Republican Leaders have not only made homophobic comments, but have supported their words with decisive action AGAINST the LGBT community.

    Sadly, Mr. Worthams is still the exception in the GOP. Even Log Cabin Republicans would testify to that.

    Hoping for a change though. At least, he was allowed to state his beliefs openly and not be punished for them.

  2. Joe in Ct says

    Unfortunately, Agema does still represent the GOP mainstream. We’ll know it has changed, only after their party’s platform no longer contains the discriminatory language it currently does.

  3. Lymis says

    This is progress, but like people say to the NALT Christians, don’t tell US, tell THEM.

    I don’t particularly give a toss what your personal beliefs are if the organization you support and are active in has in its official policy statements and every single political act a virulently anti-gay posture.

    All that shows is that pro-gay Republicans are completely impotent. Not reassuring. Get YOUR people to change, then get back to us.

  4. Pancho Lopez says


    So the self-hating republican wants to stop hating the gays. but not the poor?

    Good for him. He really needs to be independent. Diversity if good.

    Gays are OK, but cut off the foodstamps and the affirmative action. Those people are really living off the government tit.

  5. peterparker says

    As far as I’m concerned, the Republican party will have the stain of homophobia upon it as long as I live. I will never forgive or forget the past 30 years of blatant hate and discrimination directed at the GLBT community.

  6. jmartindale says

    Fix your national platform, and I will start thinking Republicans aren’t all homophobic a-holes. But face it: it isn’t the Democratic party that is standing as the principal obstacle to the advancement of gay rights in America. It is the Republicans–always. They also happen to be wrong on just about every other issue I can imagine.

  7. says

    Sure the anti-gays are fringe, like the anti-woman, anti-Muslim and racists too. That’s why the GOP has CPAC and can make laws against minorities, and support other countries that do these same things, not to mention the anti-evolution and anti-science morons. These are the majority of conservatives, not the minority and for any minority to not see this, it just shows how stupid they are.

  8. Robotron says

    They’re hideous ,hateful ,nasty,close minded little ,petty angry people. God is going to get them for their inhumane beliefs. What if Jesus was gay and God too? That would be the ultimate. And reincarnates all of the homophobes as gay /lesbians people in their new lives.

  9. ThomT says

    As long at the GOP continues to write anti-equality positions into there platform they will absolutely be considered the mainstream policies of the party. Worthams might hold a pretty liberal position on social issues such as marriage equality but he, by no means, represents the majority of the Republican party and, will ultimately be held responsible by the party for his liberal views.

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