Troy, Michigan Mayor Janice Daniels Suggested ‘Expert’ Testify That Homosexuality is Mental Illness at Anti-Bullying Forum

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).

DanielsThe 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

Comments

  1. Skooter McGoo says

    I would say that this mayor has solidified the view point that Troy is not safe for any gay person to live in now. If you live in Troy and are gay, don’t run to hide. Run the hell out of town as fast as you can. They will be knocking down doors of gay people’s homes soon to take you away to a “pray the gay away” clinic where you will surely have a fatal accident if you don’t comply with their brainwashing.

  2. Steve says

    Even if her story is true, that doesn’t make it ok. Her implication is still wrong. The higher incidence of mental health problems among LGTBs is a directly result of the discrimination inflicted by people like her

  3. classychazy says

    As a person whom sufferes from major depression and PTSD these are both mental illnesses. I take medication everyday for both. The notion that homosexuality is a mental illness is ludicrous! I think this woman should see her Dr. and get some lithium! I have allot of gay friends and they ALL are more are more sane then myself. My father and his partner were both of sound mind. My mother is the crazy one and she is straight.
    What’s this woman think handing out some Wellbutrion or Prozac is going to cure people from loving who they love and are attracted to, that is just nonsense!
    Since I have been coming to this site I have read some of the most stupid, scared, and totally off the wall notions from politicians. I am now doing way more research then ever before casting my vote.

  4. Strepsi says

    I actually believe the Mayor and think the student mis-heard… but what the mayor says is still reprehensible.

    I’d like to see them challenge her to put together this panel — could she actually get REAL psychologists (not Christianist fakers like George Rekers) to ‘testify’ to this?

  5. Alex says

    The media need to point out that it has been accepted fact, going back to 1975, by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association that homosexuality is NOT a mental illness.

    This woman is a fool. Why doesn’t the media counter her drivel with facts?

  6. Shelly says

    No, Skooter, the thing to do is to come out and stand your ground. To tuck tail and run would be a self-defeating, cowardly disgrace. This country, these states, these hometowns are ours just as much as theirs, and if they don’t like it, THEY can leave.

  7. gerry says

    I think Ms. Daniels needs to meet the psychiatrist my Mom took me to when I came out. He told my Mom I was ok, but he would be glad to work with her to help her accept me.

  8. uffda says

    Tom in LB@ oh don’t tell me you’re going to start harping on that world is round story. I have driven or walked all the way around this world and no matter where I was it was flat. For heaven’s sake.

  9. BobN says

    I think Amy Weber is discovering that, as open-minded and helpful as her suggestion that the Mayor get to know her family was, she really, really shouldn’t let this bigot anywhere near her family.

    Some people really are just misinformed, they’re hateful.

  10. Jay says

    Milkman – you mean the “Superflous Parenthetical Statement” hair style? The one that says: What’s contained within is not necessary for the advancement of any story or discussion? That one? 😉

  11. Gregv says

    She very well might be able to round up someone in her constricted little social circles who will claim that homosexuality is an illness, just as she might be able to round up someone she’d call an “expert” who would say the earth is 3000 years old and flat.
    The problem is, to find such a quack, she would not be doing any real search for facts, but would have to specifically be looking for someone who all the evidence that is overwhelmingly accepted by every leading scientific organization in the world that studies the matters at hand.
    The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, etc,. etc., etc., ALL have concluded the opposite of all the outrageous claims she makes.

  12. MichaelJ says

    Re: Bill’s suggestion (above) to e-mail the Troy Chamber of Commerce: It’s likely that group already wants a new mayor. Janice Daniels has made dumb-founded a lot of local businesses by decling a 100% federally funded project to build an Amtrak hub in Troy, a project that would have greatly benefitted a lot of local businesses. She is a willfully ignorant Tea Party ideologue on economic issues as well as being a nasty homophobe.

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    How do you handle paperwork and office administration tasks. Are you comfortable marketing yourself and your skills? Being solely responsible for your business requires that you have good organizational skills as well as assertive qualities which you will need to market yourself as well as get paid.

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