Mich. Mayor AGAIN Makes Hateful, Anti-Gay Remark
The conservative mayor of Troy, Mich., appeared on a radio talk show this week and said the "homosexual lifestyle" is dangerous and then compared being gay to smoking cigarettes, CBS Detroit reported.
Janice Daniels, who faces a recall effort for homophobic comments she made last December, went on Charlie Langton's morning talk show on Radio 1270 to respond to the controversial remarks.
About a year ago, just after New York legalized same-sex marriage, Daniels took to Facebook and wrote, "I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there."
Six months later, after she became the mayor of Troy, her statements made national headlines. When she was put in the spotlight, Daniels defended her remarks.
"It's my personal belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. I love people, but I want to acknowledge my First Amendment right to speak freely. I know that as mayor, I represent all of the people in this city."
Soon after, however, Daniels was fired from her day job with Century 21 and a spokeswoman for the company said they could not employ anyone "who would be capable of such insensitivity to the LGBT community." But Daniels still remained mayor of the fairly large city, which is about 22 miles north of Detroit.
The politician defended her statements again while visiting the radio show and tried to explain her side of the story.
"What I said while I was mayor ... I was in a business meeting, I come from a business perspective ... I said that I would bring a doctor into a meeting that would say that the homosexual lifestyle is dangerous," Daniels said, adding, "Had I been with a group of smokers I might have said I would like to bring a doctor into this meeting to say that smoking is dangerous."
The show's host then asked Daniels if it was dangerous to be gay.
"I think that doctors can make a case for it certainly," the mayor said, adding that she "had no opinion" on whether being gay is more dangerous than smoking.
Officials from the recall campaign said they handed over 9,300 signatures this week to the Elections Division. The group needed 7,985 signatures by June 15 in order for a recall election. Unless the organization's signatures are challenged as invalid, the recall election will occur in November.
"I don't think this is productive for the city of Troy... This is just a diversion," Daniels told Langton. "I would ask that these people come together with me to find mutual common ground."
Langton then asked her if she has a problem being the mayor of a city that has gay citizens.
"I realize that I am the mayor of all the people of Troy and I love all people ... It was a pithy comment that I made, it was an in-the-moment kind of comment and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to bring this kind of controversy upon myself."
Michigan has been unfortunately distinguishing itself for some out-there Republicans.
Andrew Shirvell, a state assistant attorney general, was fired for harassing a gay student from the University of Michigan and making anti-gay comments towards him. Shrivell was accused of engaging in "hate speech" on a blog and "Physical and mental harassment." He was fired in 2010 by then-Attorney General Mike Cox.
And the GOP front-runner to run against an incumbent Democratic U.S. senator raised a firestorm with a Super Bowl ad of an Asian woman biking through a rice paddy while making fun of the senator in pidgin English.