An elected official in Arizona is getting backlash for telling a local newspaper gay men have a life expectancy of 42, and pointed to sexual orientation as the reason.
Ron Gould, a former Arizona state senator and currently the Mohave County Supervisor, told the Kingman Daily Miner (subscription) that gay men have an average life expectancy of 42. When asked if he believes sexual orientation was the reason for that statement, he said, “That’s why they die.”
He went on to draw a false equivalence between being homosexual and drinking alcohol.
“We all have our sins, but we should try to suppress them,” said Gould, according to the Phoenix New Times. “Alcohol is harmful, too, but we don’t see groups promoting alcoholism.”
Gould also took a swipe at marriage equality in the interview. “It used to be ‘tolerate us,’” he told the newspaper. “Now, it’s ‘accept us.’”
Gould, who served in the Arizona state Senate from 2005 to 2013, was elected to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors in 2018.
— Stonewall Dems AZ (@StonewallDemsAZ) August 12, 2019
Gould didn’t indicate where he got such erroneous information about ‘gay life expectancy,’ but many believe it has to do with a debunked study by anti-LGBTQ activist and pseudo-researcher, Paul Cameron.
In his 1994 study, “The longevity of homosexuals,” Cameron scanned through local newspapers that served the LGBTQ communities for obituaries. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, he added up the ages of the deceased gay men and found an average age of 43.
Cameron was booted out of the American Psychological Association for his vastly flawed research.