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Troy, MI Residents, Council Members Rip Mayor Janice Daniels for 'Queers' Remark at Public Meeting: VIDEO

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Troy, Michigan Mayor Janice Daniels, whose recently-uncovered Facebook status update from June declaring "I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there" has put her in national headlines, faced a row of furious City Council members and four hours of public debate from residents angry over her words, Patch reports.

80 people lined up to speak, and Daniels was urged to quit, but she hasn't, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Worst_danielsSaid Councilman Jim Campbell: "You were wrong, and you know you were wrong. You embarrassed the city. We've lost business in the city in the last few days because of your statements. We've got the whole country laughing at us."

Check out a video of Daniels being admonished by Council Members, AFTER THE JUMP...

Added Dane Slater: "I'm gonna be the first to let you know that you are not the victim here. You sent me a memo apologizing but it gave me the sense that you think you're the victim here, and you are not the victim. The city is the victim."

Patch reports on the many residents who showed up to speak:

Especially eloquent were several Troy High School students who spoke early in the meeting. "This isn't an issue about sexuality ... this is about being human," said Troy High senior Skye Curtis, co-founder of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance.

"The part of this ordeal that is the most morally repugnant to me is the lack of thought that Mayor Daniels put into this ... Daniels' casual use of an outdated slur has had the greatest possible impact on the most innocent members of her constituency, Troy's youth. We are too young to vote but we are not too young to be impacted by your words."...

"Mayor Daniels – and especially the Troy City Council – the limelight is on you," said Denise Brogan-Kator, executive director of Equality Michigan. "This is your moment; make the best of it. You can do better, and the people of Troy deserve better."

"We came here tonight because we wanted Mayor Daniels to have a really good look at – and to meet for maybe the first time in her entire life – a gay family," Birmingham resident Amy Weber said. Amy and her wife, Tina, spoke directly to Daniels during public comment, and the couple's two young daughters brought drawings to give to the mayor.

Keith Olbermann named Daniels his "Worst Person in the World" yesterday.

Check out a video of Daniels being admonished by Council Members and Olbermann's clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously...
Troy, MI Mayor Thinks She Should Be Forgiven for Offensive 'Queers' Remark: VIDEO [tr]
Michigan Mayor Not Happy 'Queers' Can Marry in New York or Anywhere [tr]

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Comments

  1. wow. a small town in Michigan. This is a miracle. Middle-America is coming out of the closet and standing up for its gay loved-ones--be they coworkers, neighbors, friends or family members.

    I've said it over and over--the most powerful weapon we have is Coming Out. The more we do that the more the hatred withers.

    Posted by: Danny | Dec 6, 2011 8:34:21 AM


  2. Nothing she can say offends me more than her hair. Did you see it on video? The woman is leading a city council meeting filled with people calling for her resignation and she couldn't be bothered to drag a brush through it.

    Posted by: Christopher | Dec 6, 2011 8:39:33 AM


  3. Way to go residents of Troy!

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Dec 6, 2011 8:40:23 AM


  4. She couldn't care less who she has offended, she hasn't learned anything. She just wants it over and for the "queers" to shut up about it. Troy should toss her to the curb.

    Posted by: Donald | Dec 6, 2011 8:49:27 AM


  5. people are emboldened in their hatred when they think that they are in the majority - that people will agree with their hatred. This is a clear example of what happens when people say ENOUGH. Let this be a lesson for others who think they can just sling these comments and not pay the price for their hatred.

    Posted by: bob | Dec 6, 2011 8:53:12 AM


  6. One commenter correctly noted that "queer" is often used as an adjective in academic contexts, and the import is very progressive:

    At Harvard and Yale, there is no "Department of Gay Studies," there is a "Department of Queer Studies," just as there is "queer cinema" (cf. Wikipedia article on "The New Queer Cinema").

    This asswipe mayor of Troy, Michigan is using the word as a noun, which reeks of bigotry. I will offer my question about double standards again. Would Janice Daniels think I was just making a little slip if I called her a loudmouth c*nt? I'm sure that what's good for the goose is also good for the gander. No more double standards, please -- not on the Internet, not in the media, not anywhere. Thanks.

    Posted by: Artie | Dec 6, 2011 8:54:44 AM


  7. I'm so proud of these people for standing up to the mayor like this. She handled this entire situation in a very unprofessional manner. I wish the video was longer. I want more!

    Posted by: Gigi | Dec 6, 2011 9:01:28 AM


  8. Troy, MI is a large suburb north of Detroit. About 6 square miles and 25 minutes north of downtown Detroit via I-75. It feels good to see the residents of Troy, by in large, also very conservative, stand up and represent. Metro Detroit is a very conservative, largely manufacturing blue collar region. I am glad that people are speaking up and seeing the light.

    Posted by: dan | Dec 6, 2011 9:38:19 AM


  9. She seems like a thoroughly awful person, and I don't want to defend her in the least, so this post may be ill placed. But I have to say I'm not entirely clear on what words are ok vs not ok. Obviously anything with an f is bad and everybody knows it. I think gay is universally ok, although a lot of people, including me, would find someone saying "the gays" as something of an idiot. And then of course there's the whole "that's so gay" issue, so clearly the word can be used nastily as well as positively. Homosexuals used to be the neutral word but I think has now passed into the offensive realm. And I sense that queer is moving in the direction of homosexual. As commented above, there's the academic queer studies, which is uncontroversial, there's the famous "we're here, we're queer, get used to it" protest chant. It sounds like from above if she had said queer people are getting married, that would have been ok, since it's an adjective? (I know the sentiment would still make her a jerk, but would the use of the word also be offensive? I'm sure "the queers getting married" would be offensive, just like "the gays". But if gay and queer as an adjective are ok, and neither is ok with the word "the" preceding it, it's a bit confusing that gay is ok as a standalone noun but queer is not.

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 6, 2011 9:47:34 AM


  10. I went to high school in Troy. It is definitely not blue collar. It's in Oakland County and one of the richer cities in the state. It's where Kmart used to have its world headquarters, as well as Volkswagen of America and a few others. That's why I am so surprised that this teabagger won there. I actually think Obama carried the city.

    Posted by: downtownla | Dec 6, 2011 9:52:40 AM


  11. A correction to what Danny said -- Troy is not a small town. It is one of the nicer suburbs of Detroit with a population of 80K. While it isn't the richest, it does have the upscale mall known as the Somerset Collection. It is in Oakland County, known for being one of the richest counties in the country and a bastion of the GOP.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy,_Michigan

    It is so good to see the teenagers take her to task and to see so much gay support from the community.

    Posted by: Paul | Dec 6, 2011 10:05:43 AM


  12. @Brian: the thrust of her comment is that she no longer wants to carry a bag that says she loves New York because New York allows gay people to marry. It wouldn't have mattered if she had said "queers" or "gays" or "homosexuals", the viewed legalizing same-sex marriage as sufficient reason for hating New York.

    The fact that she used the word "queers" made her comment even more hateful.

    Posted by: Jeffrey in St. Louis | Dec 6, 2011 10:06:50 AM


  13. I'm not sure I agree, Jeffrey. For me, what you're saying is exactly why I think she's an idiot, ie her whole comment about the bag. And I assumed that's why everyone was up in arms. But from the hearing, the comments here, and her defence it's clear that almost everyone is focused on the use of the word queer rather than the anti-marriage stance of her broader comment. That's why I wanted to focus on how offensive the word really is.

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 6, 2011 10:11:42 AM


  14. I agree that this is so much about the word "queer", as some people make it out to be. It's about her being so ashamed of marriage equality in NY. Even if she had said "gays", it would still have been an offensive statement

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 6, 2011 10:15:11 AM


  15. Ugly inbreed...

    Posted by: Adam | Dec 6, 2011 10:15:47 AM


  16. She wants to "move on" to another topic because she's uncomfortable and not one bit remorseful. If a "body language expert" reviewed this video...and the others...I'm sure they would see discomfort...i.e. I'm a victim here...in her body language.
    She's a bigot and then a liar on top of that. Remove her from public service now!
    She's got the rest of her life to make sincere ammends...and you know she would...NOT!!!

    Posted by: paul b. | Dec 6, 2011 10:43:07 AM


  17. Here is a woman who posted this loathsome rant on Facebook and then was elected mayor of this city. I think we should consider that her bigotry and homophobia were probably quite clear to many who know her and to many who voted for her. Homophobia is alive and well in Troy (and everywhere). She may become quite successful politically. Watch your back, Michelle O'Bachmann (as Letterman calls her); you may have a new opponent some day, perhaps in 2016 when you run for President again.

    Posted by: Gary | Dec 6, 2011 10:58:41 AM


  18. Brian: I think it is she who tried to pretend it was about one word. Those people speaking out at that meeting wouldn't have been there is she'd just used an off-color word on an otherwise non-offensive context.
    Personally, I find the word qu**r annoying when anyone connects it to gay people in any context, but it's not annoying enough for me to bother with if someone uses it as an adjective for a film, etc.
    No matter what word she uses, it's the sentiment that she's offended by others having basic human rights that is really offensive. That one word barely registers as a sidebar alongside the whole ugly context.
    Likewise, imagine her using any slur against any other group to state that she is against their basic human rights, and it would be the same.
    What if she had referred to Obama as a "zebra" for being bi-racial. It would be very different If she had said, "I love families of all kinds, black, white or zebras" (I would be annoyed by her choice of one word only) versus saying, "I miss the good old days when them zebras had no rights and could never be President" (then the entire context is offensive and the slur is magnified by the ugly context of the speech.)

    Posted by: Gregv | Dec 6, 2011 11:21:34 AM


  19. They just don't get it. It's not enough to apologize for using the word "queer" (which doesn't offend me). The problem was the statement itself, and the message it sends.

    Canada is only 20 miles from Troy, and a lot of Canadians do our holiday shopping in the Detroit metro area, with Troy being one of the options. But when Troy's mayor insults New York this way, she insults us too, and I'm not spending my cash in Troy until she's replaced. It's clear a genuine apology isn't coming.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 6, 2011 11:25:55 AM


  20. @downtownla

    I went to HS in Troy too, (Troy Athens, represent~) and I'm not at all surprised that a tea party member won. Troy has always been overwhelmingly republican/conservative.

    I'm almost certain Obama didn't win in the city, but I'm pretty sure he carried Oakland County.

    That being said, I'm proud of the residents for standing up to her. Politicians at any level shouldn't be allowed to get away with hateful comments like that. Even in private (they should be called on it by their family/friends imho) but most definitely in public. I mean c'mon now. Common sense, anyone?

    @Brian

    As for using the word "queer". Yes, its been used in academic instances, etc, but I'm pretty sure her generation used the word "queer" as an insult. She clearly meant that she doesn't support Equal Marriage (neither does the whole of Michigan, sadly--there was a vote on it about...2ish years ago? Medical Marijuana? OK. Gay marriage? Not so much...) and she definitely chose to use a word that, to her, had a negative connotation.

    That's purely conjecture on my part of course, but I'm pretty sure the use of the word "queer" in the context of her post pretty much screams negativity, don't you?


    Posted by: ladydragon543 | Dec 6, 2011 11:27:35 AM


  21. As horrible as she is, I wouldn't call her "The Worst Person in the World" as there are so many other loathsome cadidates for that title. Maggie Gallagher, members of NOM, CWfA, AFTAH, and the WBC are certainly worse.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Dec 6, 2011 11:39:17 AM


  22. Yes, everything in her comment screams negativity, because she's a complete jerk. I guess I didn't express myself clearly, because I find her comment loathsome. What I was trying to get at was that the use of the word queer is the least bothersome part for me personally, but the bulk of the comments were about how offensive the word queer was, and I didn't realize it was such a sensitive word.

    Personally I never use the word, it just seems outdated, like calling a clinic an infirmary. But I guess what we're saying is that it's the context that matters, which I believe is still the case for homosexual. (acceptable in scientific literature, not in NOM mailings).

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 6, 2011 11:41:10 AM


  23. To those progressive types who think it is OK to use queer if you are "reclaiming"the word, stop it already. It has been 20 years since gay hipster activists decided to shock the world by reclaiming the word "queer." They haven't reclaimed anything. It is still a slur. Only now, bigots like this mayor can muddy the waters by pointing to "queer studies" and "queer cinema". For once in your lives, think about how your actions are affecting others and stop promoting an anti-gay slur.

    Posted by: Dave | Dec 6, 2011 11:41:13 AM


  24. As a resident of Troy, MI, I am NOT surprised in the least by the election of a Tea Party candidate. (NO, I did NOT vote for her!) At the end of the day, Troy is a conservative, Christian, Republican town, as is the balance of most of Michigan. Her half-baked apology hasn't accomplished anything except to make those of us with a driver's license which reads "Troy, MI" and who teach our children that love comes in all sizes, shapes, colors, genders, origins, belief systems, etc. to be ashamed of our Mayor!

    Posted by: SK | Dec 6, 2011 12:05:54 PM


  25. Good luck with a re-election campaign, Janice ...

    Posted by: Michael R | Dec 6, 2011 12:10:39 PM


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