Following outrage late last year over a Facebook update that read "I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there", Troy, Michigan mayor Janice Daniels met with students at the Troy High School Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).
The students hoped to invite Daniels to participate in an anti-bullying forum in order to cultivate understanding between the mayor and the LGBT community. That is, until Daniel suggested that she bring along "psychologists who would testify that homosexuality is a mental disease," according to Skye Curtis, 17, a senior and co-president of the Gay-Straight Alliance at the school:
While discussing plans for a forum on bullying and suicide, Daniels told students she wanted to invite "a panel of psychologists who would testify that homosexuality is a mental disease," said Skye Curtis, 17, a senior and co-president of the Gay-Straight Alliance at the school.
Daniels denied making the comment. "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.
"I believe in full disclosure," Daniels said, adding that: "I would like to reach out to this girl and her parents about how this can be resolved."
Daniels alleged remarks prompted a request for the tape of the meeting from Amy Weber (you may remember she appeared with her wife Tina before Daniels at a City Council meeting to show the mayor her gay family):
Amy Weber was so disturbed by Daniels' comments that she attended the Troy City Council meeting Monday evening and asked for an audio copy of the meeting between the Troy High GSA and the mayor, which the mayor recorded, during public comment.
Patch.com adds, of the meeting:
"She turned it into an anti-suicide thing, which is great, but she wanted to completely ignore the issue that started this."
“That bullying leads to suicide," Curtis continued. "Then we started talking about who could possibly speak, and she alluded to the fact that she wanted to bring in a panel of psychologists who would testify that homosexuality was a mental disease."
“This was implied by her," [GSA member Zach] Kilgore clarified. "She didn’t explicitly say it. Somebody said something to the effect of, 'we can't tell these kids that what they're doing is wrong.'"
"And she said, 'well, I can get a panel to testify,'" Curtis said. "Which is really horrifying, because if we're trying to prevent suicide, telling a room full of gay kids that they have a mental disease probably isn't a way to prevent suicide."
Students plan to hold the anti-bullying forum without Daniels