Candidate for Utah Senate apologizes for online comments about gay teen’s suicide

PROVO, Utah -- A third-party candidate for Utah Senate District 16 is apologizing for remarks he made about a gay youth's suicide after an image of the comments went viral online.

Jason Christensen, the Independent American Party candidate for Senate District 16 in Provo, posted on a Facebook thread after a gay teen committed suicide.

According to a screen capture posted online, the post stated: “Yes this is sad, hopefully God will have mercy on both sins that this boy committed. The sins of homosexuality and the sins of murder(sic)"

Further in the thread Christensen explained he believes suicide amounts to murder.

“Read the scriptures, stop denying the scriptures,” another post stated. “I do feel bad for him and his sins. But one must recognize what’s(sic) sins and what is not sin. One must live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not the Gospel of the Devil.”

The comments went viral after being posted on Reddit and other websites.

Friday, Christensen said he is apologizing for those remarks.

“I apologize for that, and I hope with my love and asking for apology, I hope the family can accept my apology,” he told Fox 13 News.

Christensen said Friday he has received death threats since the comments began attracting attention online.

Sen. Curt Bramble, the Republican incumbent Christensen is challenging in the upcoming election, offered his take on the issue.

“The incivility, the vulgarness, the insensitivity of those comments, there's no place for that in a political campaign, there's no place for that in Utah Legislature, and, frankly, there's no place for that in our society,” he said.

LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Utah also weighed in on the remarks.

"The comments that Jason Christensen made about a young, 19-year old man who had committed suicide are vile and cruel, and unbecoming of anyone who aspires to represent Utahns in state government,” said Troy Williams, Executive Director of Equality Utah.