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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.

Algol/AGF/UIG via Getty Images

Switzerland. Zurich. Town Hall and Limmat River. (Photo by: Algol/AGF/UIG via Getty Images)

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.

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Recently-elected Mayor of the city of Zurich, Corine Mauch (R), who is openly lesbian, is seen with two people disguised during the 2009 edition of the "Europride" parade on June 6, 2009 in Zurich. Around 50,000 people turned up at the European gay and lesbian parade Europride's annual festival in the Swiss city of Zurich on Saturday, organisers said. The festival, which was held for the first time in London in 1993, takes place in a different European city every year and traditionally attracts participants from all over the continent. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

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."

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

A participant of the 2009 edition of the "Europride" dances with a rainbow flag during the parade on June 6, 2009 in Zurich. Around 50,000 people turned up at the European gay and lesbian parade Europride's annual festival in the Swiss city of Zurich on Saturday, organisers said. The festival, which was held for the first time in London in 1993, takes place in a different European city every year and traditionally attracts participants from all over the continent. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

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.