The Mayor of a small town on Peru’s coast is blaming the presence of the metal strontium in its water as the basis for increased homosexuality in his town.
José Benítez, Huarmey mayor, says:
“Unfortunately, Strontium reduces male hormones and suddenly we’ll be as Tabalosos, as other towns, where the percentages are increasing of homosexuality.”
Tabalosos is located in the department of San Martin — in the interior of Peru — where the water comes from. Some years ago, a Peruvian television program said that its population was predominantly homosexual, an image according to Tabalosos’ mayor, Jorge Luis Vasquez, “which is costing us.”
“Young people have low self-esteem by this stigma,” said Vasquez.
Benitez’s words have also caused outrage among the Tabalosina population.
Benítez made the comments during an opening ceremony for a local “Water for All” project.
Strontium is naturally occurring and mined for many uses, particularly in glass for color cathode ray tube televisions as it filters out x-rays. Levels in human remains have been used to locate where individuals come from, including in ancient burial sites in Peru.
Dr. Robert Castro Rodriguez, dean of the College of Pharmaceutical Chemistry of Lima, told Peruvian radio that large amounts of Strontium in the body cause bone cancer, anemia and cardiovascular complications – but not homosexuality.
Last year, Bolivian president Evo Morales said that eating chicken causes homosexuality and baldness.