Troy Mayor Daniels draws protests, rally for anti-gay slur

Says she will not step down

BTL Staff report and wire reports

TROY - A rally calling for the resignation of Tea Party activist and Troy, Michigan's new mayor Janice Daniels is gaining traction today after the revelation of an anti-gay slur she posted to her Facebook page on June 25. The day after New York state made same-sex marriage legal, Daniels post read, "I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there." The post was recently deleted after reports of the comment went viral.

The rally is scheduled to begin on the steps of Troy City Hall at 3 p.m. and run through 11:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5.

More details about the rally can be found on Facebook at this link http://www.facebook.com/events/193787590709493

On a CBS Detroit radio interview with Charlie Langton's 1270 Talk Radio show this morning, Daniels apologized for the first time for the gay slur. "I absolutely do regret it, I shouldn't have used such language," Daniels said, adding, "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."

Langton asked Daniels if she plans to step down in the wake of public furor. She said "no."

"I'm not going to resign, it's a fascinating job ...I won a hard-fought campaign. I'm very, very busy. I wanted to express my regret for having used that word," the mayor said.

Daniels added that she will meet with protesters today if she has time.

"I have a very busy day," Daniels said. "If I'm able to break away... I would be absolutely honored to meet with them."

What does she want next?

"I hope it pretty much goes away," Daniels said. "It's a fascinating role, I love being the mayor and I hope to have many, many successes... I am human... My hope is that they'll forgive me.

State leaders have come out attacking Daniels saying that her words amount to hate speech. Denise Brogan-Kator, the executive director of Equality Michigan, stated on her own Facebook page that "I find it discouraging that a leader of people can have such disregard for the lives of people she serves."

Brogan-Kator also stated that Daniels "didn't say it as mayor, but it's been pointed out to her and she's defending it today." Daniels is opposed to same-sex marriage. Brogan-Kator did note the differences in use for the word 'queer' saying that it has been used "to reclaim a word that has historically been used to hurt us," but that "clearly, from the context, this is not what Mayor Daniels intended."

Prior to her radio interview, Daniels defended her comments saying "I was speaking for myself. It's my personal belief that marriage is between one man and one woman, (but) as mayor I know I represent all of the people in this city."

Josh Schirle, a gay man from neighboring Royal Oak, launched a Facebook group opposing Daniels.

Schirle spearheaded today's planned protest, telling WWJ Newsradio he was "appalled by her post."

"There is nothing dignified about the words that she said, whether that's her viewpoint or not, that's hate. I don't think anyone thinks hate is acceptable," said Schirle.

But he said he's not asking that she be ousted.

"I'm concerned with how she apologizes and how she rectifies what she said - I certainly think that she should apologize and I would like to see the city of Troy make a donation to a gay and lesbian charity - community house - anything like that," said Schirle.

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