Janice Daniels, the newly elected Republican mayor of Troy, Michigan, has provoked heavy criticism for a June 25 post on her Facebook wall in which she wrote, “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.”
Since this post was unearthed by the blog Keep Troy Strong, and Daniels admitted that she in fact made the post, Daniels has received a swathe of criticism from the public, with many calling for her immediate resignation and saying that her anti-gay attitude means she is not fit to hold the position.
“I absolutely do regret it, I shouldn’t have used such language,” she told radio host Charlie Langton. “While I do believe marriage should be between one man and one woman, it was inappropriate to use that language. It’s a dictionary word, it’s used in a TV show and in other contexts. It was inappropriate and I do apologize.
“It was meant to be a joke, silly, a funny thing.”
However, Daniels had previously said she would not apologize for the post because she didn’t believe the word “queers” was offensive and that gay people use it all the time.
As such, her apology has been perceived as somewhat begrudging and that it has rather missed the point. Her comments since then have apparently done little to detract from this opinion.
When faced with public protests outside City Hall, Daniels contended that this was all because of a poor choice of words: ”I’m a good person, I really am. I said one word that you don’t like. One word.”
She reportedly added, “True forgiveness means that you wipe the slate clean and allow the person to improve themselves from that point forward, so this is a very good lesson for all of us!”
News surfaced that Daniels had been fired from her real estate job, however this has turned out to be false. Daniels apparently decided to put her license “in escrow” because she does not have time to devote to that job anymore.
Calls for her to be ousted as Mayor rumble on however, with a number of people indicating that they are now choosing to move business and commerce out of Troy because of the negativity surrounding Daniels’ comment.
However, Troy City Manager John Szerlag maintains that these were personal comments and that no action will be taken against Daniels. Indeed, because Daniels made this Facebook posting before she became Mayor it would seem that she cannot be recalled on this basis and any recall petition would have to focus on her conduct since taking office.
The Michigan Faith & Freedom Coalition thinks, while not condoning the comment, that the backlash against Janice Daniels is unfair and that her one comment prior to becoming Mayor should not determine her time as Mayor now. They accuse Daniels’ opponents of using this incident as a political weapon.
Still, the very fact that a recall is being discussed and that Troy residents this week reportedly packed out city hall to speak out against Janice Daniels’ anti-gay Facebook comments, suggests that this issue is not going to go away any time soon.