Mohave County Supervisor and former Arizona state senator Ron Gould (Image: Ron Gould for State Senate)
A former Arizona state senator believes gay men have an average lifespan of 42 – and it’s “harmful” homosexuality that’s killing them young.
Ron Gould served in as a Republican member of the state senate from 2005 to 2013. He ran again in 2016 but was defeated and now serves as Mohave County Supervisor .
In an interview with the Kingman Daily Miner, Gould said that he sponsored a bill to ban marriage equality because gay men have such a low life expectancy.
When asked if he believes this is because of sexual orientation, Gould replied: “That’s why they die.
We all have our sins, but we should try to suppress them. Alcohol is harmful, too, but we don’t see groups promoting alcoholism.
He went on to say that although gay people have civil rights, marriage is not one of them. He added: “It used to be ‘tolerate us’, now it’s ‘accept us’.”
Gould, a self-described climate change denier who believes “man can’t change the weather”, did not cite a source for his statistics on homosexuality and life expectancy.
But Arizona’s Phoenix New Times suggested he probably got the number from an unscientific study conducted by the anti-gay Family Research Institute in 1994.
The study was led by researcher Paul Cameron, who was later terminated from the American Psychological Association over his research methods.
Cameron counted obituaries in newspapers serving the LGBT+ community and allegedly found an average life span of 43 for gay men – although this was at a time when a lot of LGBT+ deaths reported were due to AIDS-related circumstances.
The erroneous figure was repeated on national television by education secretary William Bennett in 1997, and it appears Gould has not updated his views since then.
A Facebook campaign is calling on people to lodge a complaint with Gould’s fellow Arizona District Supervisors on the basis that his public statements “create a hostile work environment for LGBT+ county employees”.