The Huffington Post reports:
A gay Utah Republican official is experiencing a backlash after implying that suicide rates in the LGBTQ community are linked to having a high number of sex partners.
Dave Robinson, who is the Salt Lake County Republican Party’s new communication director, said in a Monday meeting with the Salt Lake Tribune’s editorial board that he knows people in the LGBTQ community who have had “over 2,000 sex partners” ― a number that he believes could be reflective of the “self-loathing” that drives people to commit suicide.
“You talk to some of these people that have had grundles of sex partners, and the self-loathing and basically the unhappiness and the self-hatred level is tremendously high,” he said, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. “The gay community really needs to start having some conversations within their community, saying how is our lifestyle affecting our mental health?”
The Salt Lake Tribune reports:
Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, pushed back on Robinson’s comments about the suicide rates, saying his theory is based on “old, tired stereotypes and tropes” that members of the LGBTQ community are promiscuous. He also noted that the suicide problem is most prevalent among youth, many of whom have likely never had a sex partner.
Robinson also said in the meeting that he thinks issues around the PrEP pill, a daily preventive strategy for those at risk of contracting HIV, need more attention as a factor for the rise of STDs in the LGBTQ community and also to the rise of mental-health issues.
He said the gay community “went to the county health department and said, ‘Look, if you love the gays, then you need to give us and all of our people this medication for free.’ And so the county’s like, ‘Yes, we love the gays,’ so they start giving them all this medicine.” Then, he said, members of the LGBTQ community began having unprotected sex like “bunny rabbits” at monthly “sex parties” because they were unaware that the pill did not prevent STDs.
Robinson made a failed run for Salt Lake County mayor in 2016, losing to the incumbent Democrat by 20 points.