Former Michigan state Representative Lorence Wenke announced this week that he’d be leaving the Republican party, citing the GOP’s fiercely antigay agenda as being “on the wrong side of history” and something he could no longer be a part of.
As one of just two Republican legislators who voted against the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2004, the newly self-identified Libertarian called the systematic discrimination of LGBTs by any member of government “taxpayer abuse.”
“I was the only legislator to call it what it is — discrimination against our gay brothers and sisters,” he wrote in a statement earlier this week. He went on to call out three other Republican legislators who voted in favor of the constitutional ban, despite having gay brothers. Wenke wrote, “I challenge them with this question: ‘If You will not stand up for your own family members, who will you stand up for?'”
Wenke also calls out Gov. Rick Snyder for refusing to take a position on gay rights. Last month, Snyder refused to acknowledge same-sex marriages performed in Michigan during the short-lived full day that the state had marriage equality. “I can only assume it is because they fear the political consequences,” Wenke wrote.
“I support the constitutional right of our gay family members to enjoy the same rights as our heterosexual family members,” he continued. On the subject of the GOP encouraging churches to discriminate against same-sex couples, he added “These same people often ignore the clear teachings of Jesus and Paul stating that remarriage after divorce is committing adultery.”
Now, as a more vocal supporter of LGBT rights, Wenke plans to run for Michigan Senate in November, against his former GOP colleagues.