Dave Agema, a former Michigan state representative and prominent GOP leader in the state, says gays want free medical care because they are dying young.

“Folks, they [gay people] want free medical because they're dying [when they're] between 30 and 44 years old. To me, it's a moral issue. It's a Biblical issue. Traditional marriage is where it should be and it's in our platform. Those in our party who oppose traditional marriage are wrong,” Agema told a Berrien County Republicans audience on Thursday, The Herald-Palladium reported.

Agema, Michigan's national GOP committeeman, also called on Michigan Republicans to make peace with the Tea Party and independents.

“We cannot win without the independents and the Tea Party, so get over it, folks,” he said. “You're going to have to get along with these folks.”

Agema, a former pilot, said that while working at American Airlines he saw gay workers falsely claim HIV-positive persons as their spouses to secure medical benefits for them.

Agema was severely criticized in March after he promoted an article which described gays as “filthy homosexuals” in a Facebook post.

(Related: Dave Agema: Calling gays “filthy homosexuals” is “more about caring.”)