Atlantic Cities
Democracy in America

Troy Mayor Comes Out as Anti-Gay, Again

Janice Daniels, the tea party mayor of Troy, Michigan, recently said something bad about homosexual people at a student forum on bullying and suicide. But what was it, exactly?

Was it that she was going to throw her "I Love New York" bag in the garbage because gays could finally get married there?

Nope – she let that fashion news drop last June.

Did she deem gay people “whimsical”?

Actually, no: Daniels used that term to refer to her own city's charter, which she refused to swear an oath to in November.

The mayor seems to think she knows the answer. As she told the Detroit Free Press:

"What I said was, there's a higher incidence of (overall) disease in the homosexual community," Daniels said. She said she taped the meeting and had reviewed her statements after the meeting. She declined to play the tape for the Free Press.

But Daniels' memory has failed her. That isn't what she said, at all!

A couple weeks and a Freedom of Information Act request later, we now know the truth of what transpired in that bullying forum. Daniels did not say, as alleged by one student, that she wanted to invite a “panel of psychologists who would testify that homosexuality is a mental disease.”

She said that the gay lifestyle is “dangerous.”

This important clarification, unearthed by good reporting from the Free Press and Troy Patch, is a sort of Pyrrhic victory for Daniels. She got caught saying something nasty about the gays, but it wasn't that they were mentally ill. (Although is it really better to be "dangerous" than mentally ill? Discuss!) The fact that her accuser garbled the statement makes the student look like an exaggerator, knocking down by a few BTUs the Internet Hate Blowtorch aimed in Daniels' direction.

But that's just a theory. Judging from her slash-and-burned Facebook page, the anti-Daniels crowd isn't turning down the heat anytime soon. Here is an honest-to-god comment chain on one of the mayor's less-offensive status updates – that is some real bile right there:

John Metcalfe is a staff writer at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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