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Monday, December 5, 2011

Bonnie used to cover city council meetings

Not any more...
Ms. Daniels and members of the Troy City Council:

Some of you know me as a reporter who covered the City of Troy for The Oakland Press for nearly two years up until this past August. Today, I’m not here to cover a story, but as a concerned citizen. I also want to preface that I don’t live in Troy, but I work for a company based in Troy, shop in Troy, and have friends who live in Troy. I also have friends in the LGBT community.

Late last week, it came to light that Ms. Daniels posted this statement on Facebook: “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.” Ms. Daniels, I don’t care if you posted this as a private citizen or the mayor of Troy, but any adult knows what goes up on the Internet stays on the Internet, and, yes, the First Amendment gives you the freedom of speech, however, you also have to take responsibility for what you say.

I can respect your personal opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I don’t respect the derogatory and disrespectful tone you directed towards the LGBT community with that remark. I heard your so-called apology on Charlie Langton’s show this morning, but you also dismissed the word “queer” as a “dictionary word.”

Did you actually look up that word in the dictionary? Here are the definitions* I found:

1. strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different
2. of a questionable nature or character; suspicious
3. not feeling physically right or well; giddy, faint, or qualmish
4. mentally unbalanced or deranged
5. slang … disparaging and offensive with regards to homosexual, effeminate and unmanly

I think that statement and your half-baked apology speaks poorly of your character. Using that word in that context is hurtful, hateful, unbecoming, inappropriate, and most of all, irresponsible of a person in your position. Until you find it in your heart and in your conscience to truly and sincerely apologize for that remark and to the LGBT community – some of whom are here tonight – community leaders, students, taxpayers, and voters -- I will not address you as mayor. You don’t deserve that respect.

Furthermore, I urge the council not to indulge Ms. Daniels’ request to allow David Wisz extra time to espouse his opinions on the Troy transit center. His 30-page PowerPoint presentation is in your packet and since he went through the proper channels to present it to the council for consideration, it’s a matter of public record. He, like every other member of the public, is entitled to the same three (or five?) minutes as everyone else.


Bonnie M. Caprara

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