In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board, Dave Robinson, communications director for the Salt Lake County Republican Party, claimed that too many sexual partners contributes to a high suicide rate among LGBT youth.

Robinson, who is openly gay, explained how he responded to his neighbors when they said that they found the GOP to be unfriendly toward the LGBT community.

“I said, you can own your own business, you can run for office – I don't think there's a better time on this planet in history to be gay than right now,” he said.

The neighbors responded by asking about the high rate of suicide among LGBT youth.

“So then I walked through and I said, 'I actually think it has more to do with the lifestyle that the gays are leading that they refuse to have any scrutiny with,'” Robinson said.

Robinson dismissed claims that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (the Mormons) opposition to LGBT rights contributes to Utah's high rate of suicide among LGBT youth. He said that he knows LGBT people who have had “over 2,000 sex partners,” which could lead to “some of the self-loathing to the point of 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 gay community really needs to start having some conversations within their community, saying how is our lifestyle affecting our mental health.”

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, called Robinson's claims “deeply irresponsible.”

“Condemning who and how we love is a strange way to build a bridge between the Republican Party and the LGBTQ community,” he told the paper. “Mr. Robinson's rhetoric is deeply irresponsible and unbecoming of a leader in a political party in the state of Utah.”