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


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 Daniels' casual use of an outdated slur has had the greatest possible impact on the most innocent members of her constituency, Troy's youth.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...

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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  1. Good for you, Councilmen/Women!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Dec 6, 2011 1:17:44 PM

  2. Obviously her only perceived "mistake" was posting what she posted and getting in trouble for it. That's what she is sorry for--not for what she said.

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 6, 2011 2:12:30 PM

  3. I'm liking Keith's beard.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Dec 6, 2011 2:14:35 PM

  4. @ Dave,

    I'm not trying to promote the use of "queer" as an adjective in academic contexts; I'm just noting that many academics at top universities do this, as well as many gay filmmakers. I'm not saying that it's a smart thing to do.

    The main point of my comment regarded bigots who insist on a double standard: they think calling someone a queer is OK on the internet or in the media but calling someone (like Janice Daniels) a c*nt on the Internet or in the media is not OK. I think my main point is still valid. No double standards. Ça va?

    Posted by: Artie | Dec 6, 2011 3:07:59 PM

  5. I think it's okay to use "queer" in the co-opted way it's progressed to. A lot of people self identify as queer because gay/lesbian/bisexual seems too limiting to them; and queer has sort of emerged as a more accessible term to replace the increasingly unwieldy LGBTQQIPAA string.

    But like any co-opted word, it has a nasty past. So it ends up being context that defines each particular use. In this case, Mayor Asshat's context was clearly negative, which made the definition of "queer" in her use the derogatory one.

    Posted by: rafi | Dec 6, 2011 3:34:33 PM

  6. Dave, it's because of those who've fought to empower the Queer identity that I'm the Out and Proud gay and queer-identifying man that i am today.

    despite being gay, i've found much strength and pride in my queer identity. the courage to be who i am, and what i am, and exist apart from the "perceived norm" and yet not feel like i'm any lesser because of it.

    being empowered by a queer identity has NOTHING to do with this woman's use of slander - the problem was not the word, but her intent behind it.

    those who fought for the queer identity, which is indeed separate from "gay" are utterly thinking about the lives of others - namely those who cannot, or refuse to, "blend in" who need to find strength in their visibility.

    i'm a self-identifying Queer man. that doesn't negate the hateful intention of this woman's bigoted statement.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 6, 2011 4:00:37 PM

  7. I'll be direct: I WAS going to Sommerset collection to drop a load of cash on holiday gifts. NOW, I am not going to spend a dime in a community that seems to feel that woman represents them. I'll spend my dollars at gay-friendly locations or with gay-friendly businesses. I hope the corporate overlords see this and act accordingly.

    Posted by: Tarc | Dec 6, 2011 4:23:55 PM

  8. Queer as Folk
    Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
    Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens(book)

    I hate the word but we have to stop using it if we expect others to stop using it.

    Posted by: Craig | Dec 6, 2011 4:32:54 PM

  9. Well, I'm giving up on this topic. I was really leaning toward the conclusion that queer is becoming a pejorative word and gay remains the only acceptable word, but now from little kiwi's comment it sounds like queer is an affirming word for some people who find gay too restrictive, although I probably have that wrong.

    On a personal level, as I said earlier, I find it tinged with negativity and sounding antiquated so will never use it, but I guess there are some people who self identify with it. I googled the term to try and figure out who is queer but not gay but couldn't understand it. So I'll probably just stick with gay, and I apologize in advance if I inadvertantly call a queer person gay.

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 6, 2011 4:43:17 PM

  10. I live in Troy and did not vote for this woman. I had no idea about this post showing up until after the election was over. I just did not like her then, and I don't like her now..conservative like me..or not. She has cast an embarrassing and bright light in a negative way upon this city and should be out of there! Where do I sign the petition to get started?

    Posted by: Katie birch | Dec 6, 2011 5:02:14 PM

  11. You do have it wrong, Brian. But that's ok. This is a Teachable Moment.

    Not all gay people are Queer. Not all Queer-identifying people are gay. I identify as gay, and I identify as Queer. I SELF-identify as Queer; I don't identify nor label others as Queer. I dont' find gay "restrictive" - it's just not the same as Queer.
    two separate things.
    there are lebians, bisexuals, transpeople and others who identify as Queer - deviating from the expected norm, unconventional.

    the pride in that identity comes from being empowered to exist apart from the perceived norm, not demanding to be a part of it. different need not mean lesser nor less deserving of equal treatment and standing.

    i have no desire to Blend In to the norm, but that doesn't mean that discrimination against me is justified.

    i'm very lucky to have found Toronto's Queer community when I was coming out - sharing experiences and connections with not just other gay males but bisexuals, lesbians, transpeople, and those whose orientations and/or gender-identities may not be grasped by a label as of yet. the strength imparted on me was not "that i'm just like everyone else" - but that i didn't have to be like everyone else to be a person of worth and value.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 6, 2011 5:10:01 PM

  12. Well, I still don't get it, your explanation is sort of like what I was seeing on the internet, a bit too amorphous for me. Maybe queer is supposed to be like an umbrella term for everyone who isn't straight? Anyway, it's not important, I'm happy to be gay and you're happy to be queer, and this bigot mayor is still an idiot.

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 6, 2011 5:33:14 PM

  13. well, i'm happy to be gay, but I'm also happy to be Queer.

    Queer is a statement of sociopolitical identity. I'm not sure what it is that you're not getting, I thought I was pretty clear. What needs further clarifying? While I'm a gay man, I also self-identify with the Queer communities - LGBT people who live and indeed are visible and identifiable as 'different' from the perceived 'norm'.

    but yes, this woman is still an idiot and not because of the word she chose to use, but the feelings she harbours that drove her to use that choice of word.

    she might as well have said "blacks" - it's simply showing disgust and disdain for an historically-targeted group.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 6, 2011 5:39:01 PM

  14. Honestly I don't want to argue about this, I really am trying to understand. I think my confusion stems from that one phrase you stick to to distinguish queer from gay, "different from the perceived norm". Do you mean the heterosexual norm, or a gay norm? In first reading I thought you meant the heterosexual, or societal, norm, in which case wouldn't all gays be queer since by definition we don't identify with the man loves woman norm? So maybe it's the gay norm that you're not identifying with, but if so, I'm not clear which part. It can't be in a way that's already covered, like transexual, bisexual, etc so I can't quite get where queer fits in. Sorry if any of this was offensive, it's my ignorance doing the offending.

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 6, 2011 5:50:46 PM

  15. Mayor Daniels bigotry has given the people of Troy MI the opportunity to show the country what they are made of. And they have shown us that they are made of real good stuff.

    Posted by: jack | Dec 6, 2011 6:22:21 PM

  16. brian, no worries buddy.

    it's neither the gay norm nor the heterosexual norm. that's the thing - it's merely "The Norm". the greater cultural norm - as opposed to perhaps "counter-cultural" offshoots. there are mainstream gays, there are mainstream straights; their spheres overlap more often than they don't. the same is true with counter-cultural pockets - Queers.

    yes, you're right. gay people, inherently, deviate from a perceived norm. but many gay people don't want to be seen as deviating from anything. they want to be seen as "normal" - as perceived by the greater population, mainly straight. but normal is the wrong word to aspire to - it's not the norm to be gay, because it's less usual, a deviation from the expected. like being left-handed, really. what it is is natural. it comes naturally to us. it's in our nature.

    queer is not "who" or "what" you are, but "how" you are about it.


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 6, 2011 6:39:18 PM

  17. I was born in Michigan and until the time I moved away, I was proud of that fact. Now, I avoid telling anyone that I was from there...
    totally embarrassed...

    Posted by: Tom J | Dec 6, 2011 7:11:44 PM

  18. Accuracy check: One commenter claimed: "At Harvard and Yale, there is no 'Department of Gay Studies,' there is a 'Department of Queer Studies'"

    Not true. Neither Yale nor Harvard has a department devoted to gay studies, and neither have any degree-granting entity that contains the word "queer".

    At Yale, the LGBT Studies undergraduate curriculum is housed in the program in Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS).

    At Harvard, undergraduate degrees in lesbian and gay studies are conferred via the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality. This is a committee, not a department. And it is a committee without the term "gay", "lesbian", or "queer" in its title.

    Harvard does have an endowed named visiting professorship (the F. O. Matthiessen Visiting Professorship in Gender and Sexuality) dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, the first such position in the U.S....though again, its title has no "gay", "queer", or "lesbian" in its title. It was established in 2009.

    Posted by: Vint | Dec 6, 2011 9:05:24 PM

  19. I live in Troy, I'm very proud of my fellow, community taking such a deliberate stand. It really did shock me but, looking at it, I'm not really surprised. Troy has some badasses.

    Posted by: Mike B | Dec 6, 2011 10:51:08 PM

  20. I live in Troy and ask for a boycott of all business in Troy until the mayor steps down. I would be more that discussed, but the local students that showed up to voice their mature comments restored my confidence that progress will triumph over hate. Hopefully we can move from the Boston tea party era to the 21st century a bit quicker.

    Posted by: Pastafarian | Dec 7, 2011 12:59:32 AM

  21. Thanks Little Kiwi, I think I got it now!

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 7, 2011 1:43:25 AM

  22. There are some things and words,that should not be put on,facebook.But,what happened to
    the first amendment?free speech.Our country
    has been going down the tube,for many years.
    People can,curse and mock,the name of Jesus,
    the son of God,and,thats life but don,t say
    anything about an ungodly,lifestyle,the media,jumps right on it.God,ordained marriage,between on man and one woman,thats it.It is not hatred,to make this statement.
    God loves the sinner,but hates the sin.

    Posted by: mitch | Dec 7, 2011 8:52:06 AM

  23. Here are email addresses for the Troy City Council members. There's an interesting boycott going on there right now called 'De-Occupy Somerset (Mall)." It's people who won't spend any Christmas money in Troy until Mayor Janice Daniels resigns.


    Posted by: Hank Plante | Dec 7, 2011 11:41:50 AM

  24. Even in Texas we wouldn't tolerate a statement like hers. I am sorry she has caused pain to so many Troy residents; I guess you ARE ashamed. Do you have a recall possibility?
    Her statement is totally obnoxious; almost as bad as some Rick Perry makes. I wonder what was said in your churches this morning about God's love for all people.

    Posted by: Ann Gray | Dec 18, 2011 1:08:04 PM

  25. I very much like to thank you share !
    Very powerful .

    Posted by: Coach Outlet | Apr 23, 2012 5:06:52 PM

  26. « 1 2

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