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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Free Press: Troy mayor didn't link gays and mental illness, but she called lifestyle dangerous

from today's Free Press:

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels did not draw a connection between homosexuality and mental illness during a meeting in January, but she did indicate that she believes the homosexual lifestyle is dangerous.

Daniels was accused by Troy High School senior Skye Curtis, who attended the meeting, of saying that she would gather "a panel of psychologists who would testify that homosexuality is a mental disease."

That accusation put the mayor's views on homosexuality back in the spotlight after a Facebook controversy last year over her use of the term "queers."

In an interview after the meeting, Daniels denied making the statement about mental illness, saying instead that there's a higher incidence of overall disease in the homosexual community.

But a recording of the meeting, released to the Free Press on Friday based on a Freedom of Information Act request to the city, provides the actual exchange about plans for an event in the city pitched at various times as an anti-bullying or anti-suicide seminar.

Daniels said she would "bring in psychiatrists who will tell you that the homosexual lifestyle is dangerous."

Daniels asked in a phone message on Friday that questions be e-mailed to her but had not responded Friday night.

Zach Kilgore, 17, a member of Troy High School's Gay-Straight Alliance who attended the meeting, said that Curtis has already backed away from the mental illness accusation, but he noted that the mayor's comments are troubling nonetheless. Curtis, who is the co-president of the alliance, could not be reached.

"What she still said is not in the mainstream view of the health experts," Kilgore said of Daniels. "When she clarified her statements, she said homosexuals have more diseases, and that's not true."

3 comments:

  1. Why would one even engage in such a discussion with a group of very young people? Given her personal opinions (which she has been very public about) and her official position (Mayor) it was a bad move on her part. Which is typical of her decision making abilities. Regardless of ones opinion of the gay lifestyle, it seems highly inappropriate to tell a group of high school students you could bring in a panel of medical experts to tell them how "dangerous" the lifestyle is. She is the Mayor and as such speaks for the government. Whether she likes it or not when she utilizes her office to speak she is representing public policy. Her statements, the forums she utilizes to make them and her offer as government official to promote public discussion that reflects her beliefs, seems to an example of social engineering. Oh, I thought she was opposed to that.

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  2. The may says she has been bullied and threatened. Maybe she should realize that having such a bigoted and intolerant opinion is dangerous to one's lifestyle.

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  3. I would like her to define "dangerous" in the context she used it. Is she talking about HIV/AIDS among gay men, or is it just the lifestyle per se that is dangerous somehow (as though she has insight into it). Her problem continues to be that she feels homosexuality can be treated and reversed, which presumably removes the "danger"

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