Q Syndicate Jan 18, 2012
Tea Partisan Janice Daniels has only been mayor of Troy, Michigan since November, but she has quickly come to the attention of national LGBT groups for her vociferous antigay bigotry.
It started with a post on her Facebook page back in June, saying, "I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there." After the post blew up in her face in December, she apologized for the language, but not the sentiment, reiterating her opposition to marriage equality for same-sex couples.
In an attempt at further damage control, she met with a gay-straight alliance (GSA) group at the Troy high school. The damage, however, spiraled further out of control:
According to [Troy High School senior Skye] Curtis and others who attended the meeting – including GSA member Zach Kilgore and lesbian couple Amy and Tina Weber – Daniels, while discussing mental health and suicide among members of the LGBT community, at one point suggested putting together a panel of psychologists to show that homosexuality is dangerous to your mental health.Mayor Daniels has denied that she made such comments. She has also so far refused to release recordings her staff made of the meeting, so we are left to wonder whether or not she indeed knows how to watch what she says.
And perhaps it's a good thing if she doesn't. As the Detroit Free Press opined in a strongly worded editorial:
The most peculiar thing about bigots is that they never figure the term applies to them. Or they're smart enough to know that, at least in polite society, prejudice is like nose-picking. So prejudice in 2012 is the art of veiled references and coded language. ... It's a reason to be thankful for someone like Troy Mayor Janice Daniels, who wears her own irrational biases like a fashion accessory of which she is especially proud. She's a throwback who makes it distressingly clear how elusive tolerance still is. ...
[I]t's better for residents in Troy to hear what she's really thinking, and see how she's representing them publicly. Elections have consequences, and Daniels' embarrassing run so far as mayor of Oakland County's largest city is a good reminder of how swiftly those consequences can materialize.