A Republican National Committee official said last week that same sex couples shouldn't receive partner health care benefits because gay men die young and will only game the system to receive care.

According to Southwest Michigan's Herald-Palladium newspaper, former state Rep. Dave Agema said that excluding LGBT people from spousal benefits is a question of "morality," and claimed that when he was an airline pilot, he saw gay men routinely abusing the health care system.

Agema was speaking at the Berrien County Republican Party's Christmas party when he made the remarks. He was discussing the need for unity between the Republican Party and the insurgent tea party when he took off on a tangent about his days as a pilot for American Airlines.

Gay men who worked for the company, he said, would take advantage of the company's same sex spousal benefits program by pretending to be partners with HIV positive men who could not receive medical coverage any other way.

"Folks, they (gay people) want free medical because they're dying (when they're) between 30 and 44 years old," he said. "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."

"I stand for traditional marriage, no homosexual ones," he told the group. "The family unit is the basic unit in society. When you tear the family apart, you tear the country apart."

Earlier this year, Agema defended his decision to post a Facebook rant that labelled LGBT people and the "gay lifestyle" as "filthy" and claimed that half the murders in any large city are committed by homosexuals. He has also likened same sex relationships to alcoholism or drug addiction.

Agema has served as National Committeeman for the Michigan GOP since May of 2012.

Huffington Post spoke to Michigan Republican strategist Dennis Lennox -- a vocal critic of Agema and his strident anti-LGBT agenda -- who said, "Dave Agema's hateful rhetoric and unabashed bigotry have no place in our Republican Party. Republicans will not win a national governing majority until Mr. Agema's extremist behavior is no longer tolerated."

[image via DaveAgema.com]