‘Traditional marriage’ lawmaker resigns after allegedly hiring prostitute
A ‘traditional values’ Republican lawmaker in Utah who is married with three kids has resigned over allegations he hired prostitutes.
Republican lawmaker Jon Stanard, who represented District 62 in the Utah House of Representatives, resigned abruptly earlier this week citing “immediate personal and family concerns”.
The lawmaker, who has three kids with his wife, claimed on his campaign website: “I am a strong advocate for conservative family values. I am Pro Life, as well as for Traditional Marriage.”
His website also claimed: “The most important thing in Jon’s life is his family. He enjoys being able to spend time with his wife and three children every chance he can get.”
But while he’s willing to cite “tradition” in order to prevent gay people from marrying, a newspaper story this week questioned whether he takes a rather non-traditional approach to his own wedding vows.
The Daily Mail published allegations that the lawmaker hired a sex worker on at least two occasions, paying her $250-a-time for a one-hour session.
The lawmaker has not publicly denied the claims.
In a statement, Stanard’s attorney said: “Given the current climate in this country with misconduct allegations and the way things are happening in the media right now, there isn’t any explanation that my client could give that would overcome the shadow of these allegations”.
Prostitution is a criminal offence in Utah, and Stanard has previously backed measures to increase the severity of punishments.
And House Chief of Staff Greg Hartley confirmed the body is investigating whether Stanard billed his hotel stays to the taxpayer on the two days he is alleged to have hired the sex worker.
Hughes told Associated Press: “If there has been an abuse of public funds or if public funds were used in a way that’s inappropriate, we would [ask for it to be reimbursed].
“I don’t have solid answers for those things. I would need to have a way that I would know conclusively that that is the case.”
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The Republican Party in Utah is heavily dominated by the anti-LGBT Mormon Church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, known as the Mormon Church,preaches a rejection of homosexuality unless members remain celibate for life.
The religion also rejects the children of gay couples unless they actively disavow their parents’ “lifestyle”, and has been linked to a number of dangerous gay ‘cure’ practises.
A clampdown on LGBT people in the church has been linked to a surge in Mormon youth suicides – while the church has also used its influence to block LGBT rights legislation in Utah and channel funding to anti-LGBT campaign groups.
Last year a Mormon Church guidebook on homosexuality was leaked – including claims being gay is caused by too much teenage masturbation.
Apparently other causes of homosexuality include childhood sexual abuse, a “disturbed family background”, and overbearing mothers.
The documents also sets out the belief that gay people must be purged from the Church establishment.