Janice Daniels, mayor of Troy, Michigan, isn’t exactly popular with her constituents: Some 72% said they’d vote to recall her if possible. That percentage might go up now that an audio recording of her disturbing encounter with Troy High School’s gay-straight alliance has surfaced.
On January 9, Skye Curtis and Amy Weber came to Daniels (right) with a proposal for an assembly focusing on bullying and suicide prevention. The girls hoped Daniels might want to get involved after her homophobic Facebook status—”I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.”—garned national attention in November.
They were actually giving her a chance to rehabilitate her reputation? What kind of politician wouldn’t jump at such an opportunity?
Daniels, apparently. In the recording, you can hear her telling Curtis and Weber, “If I do [come], I’m not sure any of you will be satisfied… I will bring in psychiatrists who will tell you that the homosexual lifestyle is dangerous.”
Distraught, Curtis reported the conversation, saying Daniels called homosexuality “a mental illness.” She later admitted she may have misheard the mayor. Oh good, because dangerous sounds sooo much better than being mentally disturbed.
The Detroit News obtained the recording of the exchange, which took place in Daniels’ office at the Troy Community Center, after filing a claim through the Freedom of Information Act.
Since the meeting, the GSA has teamed up with other organizations to plan a diversity event for March, with speakers, religious leaders, video presentations and comedy. Daniels is welcome to join, says Weber. “The door will be open to all people who come with their hearts open.”
According to the News, Daniels—who just took office in November—says her her controversial Facebook post was meant as a joke. And she complains she’s been “threatened and bullied over the incident.”
Well, Mayor Daniels, using the logic of your fellow homophobes: You chose to make a bigoted statement for all the world to see, and people can change their opinions—unlike, say, their sexual orientation.
We hazard to guess that if you change your attitude your life will be so much better and richer. Problem solved.
And speaking for all New Yorkers, please do chuck that I Love NY carrying bag—and lose our address while you’re at it.