Daniel Regli/SVP

Swiss Politician Blames Gay Suicide Rate On Incontinence

"Their anal muscle is not holding up as it should," said Zurich council member Daniel Regli.

A Swiss politician is facing criticism after blaming the high suicide rate among gay people on incontinence.

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During a debate on funding for sex ed, Zurich city council member Daniel Regli lashed out at Lust und Frust (“Pleasure and Pain”), a site that is supported by the city’s education department. Regli complained the site promoted promiscuity and homosexuality, but didn’t lay down the “fact” that “homosexuals with multiple partners take their lives between the ages of 30 and 40… because their anal muscle is not holding up as it should. ”

His outburst prompted chaos in City Hall until Mayor Corine Mauch (below), an out lesbian, finally called for order.

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Regli has had to rescheduled appearances to avoid critics, some of whom have called for his resignation. In a statement, the progressive-minded Young Socialists said if Switzerland’s hate crime law included homophobic statements, he’d be up on charges.

Regli is a member of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), a right-wing populist political party with strong Christian leanings. Claiming a doctor friend told him about this startling statistic, he told the news show 20 Minuten, “I said Saturday what nobody wants to hear.”

Daniel Regli

Not even people in his own party: Swiss People’s Party (SVP) councilor Martin Götzl said he agreed with Regli’s assessment but insisted “his speech could have been more sensitive.” Even Party co-president Marco Denoth is done with Regli, stating “I do not want to see him anymore.”

René Schegg, director of the Swiss LGBT organization Pink Cross, said the comment was beneath contempt: “Someone who is able, in a homophobic tirade, to make the link between the anal muscle of homosexuals and suicide is beyond any conception that I can have of a politician.”

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Schegg added that misinformation like this is the real issue for LGBT people in the country. “They are still not sufficiently accepted in society.”

Regli announced earlier this summer that he would not seek reelection in March.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery