After an anti-gay Facebook status update posted by Troy Mayor Janice Daniels , Daniels responded by posting a comment defending herself on .
"The gay community calls themselves queer," she commented in part. "I firmly support marriage as being defined as between one man and one woman and I am not going to change my position. That said, I love all people and will continue to work towards promoting a vibrant City of Troy." Daniels later removed her own comment without explanation.
Since Friday afternoon, members of the Troy community have flocked to social media outlets and Patch to talk about the post – and to .
Troy takes to Twitter, Facebook
Posts about Daniels' Facebook post have been tweeted and retweeted since Friday. Some recent tweets include:
- @jackwestmiller: "Troy, MI is no longer a safe place for the LGBT community to shop and live. Mayor Janice Daniels is a liability to the city."
- @CompanyHen: "The mayor of Troy needs a reality check."
- @ComishANC8E01: "Freedom of speech or bigotry?"
- @the482 "Janice Daniels, we will not forget about this. Until you rectify your clear abuse of power, I will not be spending any money in Troy limits."
Opponents of Daniels created a Facebook Page – Fight Hate in Metro Detroit: Janice Daniels – on Saturday; as of Saturday evening, 73 people had liked the page.
Other Facebook comments about Daniels' post include:
- Bryan James: "I'll sure think twice about ever moving to your city."
- Jeff Lanzetta "Keep this dialog going, she can not get away with it. Lets get organized, and get her out."
- Matt Bertelsen: "It makes me angry and sad. ugh"
- Katie Taylor Mowrey: "It's painful and embarrassing. She may be Mayor of my city, but she doesn't represent me. She is a leader of ignorance and intolerance. Frightening that she's so proud of it."
- Rebecca Chung: "The mayor's comment is very concerning. Thanks for staying on the story."
Troy High GSA bands together
On Saturday, Troy High School senior Xinxin Zhou, who is a member of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), .
"I am here today to say, I will not stop," Zhou wrote. "I will never stop fighting, never stop supporting until all people are treated equally."
Other members of the Troy High School GSA have also spoken up since Daniels' Facebook status surfaced.
"As an openly gay student and co-president and founder of my school's GSA, I was shocked to read such a statement from our own mayor," Troy High School junior Sabrina Lee said. "Members of the GSA are outraged, and some are in the process of e-mailing Mayor Daniels regarding the situation.
"Although it's tempting to dismiss her post as a mere attempt at humor or an acceptable case of freedom of speech, it's absolutely unacceptable for an official with that much responsibility to openly display her intolerance – especially knowing that it would incite a lot of controversy, anger, and insecurity."
"It's disgusting," Troy High School junior Greg Hodorek said. "This woman has given a horrible reputation to our city. It's amazing that she was ever elected."
Students plan Monday protest at City Hall
Troy High School senior Zach Kilgore, who is also a member of the school's GSA, and other students are planning to before the on Monday.
Kilgore said he created the Facebook event to spread the word after several students said they were hurt by Daniels' words, including members of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance.
"I'd like to stress that this is meant to be completely peaceful and respectful," Kilgore said in a written statement. "We aren't showing up at City Hall to take over the building, we're showing up to demonstrate that bigotry is not a true representation of Troy."
The protest is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Monday.
In state and national news
Shortly after the original story was posted on , where it has received 57 comments as of Saturday night, it was shared by Huffington Post and Huffington Post Detroit. The story had received roughly 1,100 comments on Huffington Post by Saturday night.
MLive reported that Daniels confirmed she did post the message. “I probably shouldn’t have used that kind of language, but I do believe marriage should be between one man and one woman," Daniels told MLive, also criticizing “Keep Troy Strong” for having a vendetta against her administration.
Keep Troy Strong, the group which has opening oposed Daniels before she was elected in November and on its blog Thursday first reported about the June Facebook post by Danels, Saturday reprinted an open letter from a Troy High School alumnus, W. Max Eddy, who says he now lives in New York. "I have lived in New York for over a year now and I assure that this city doesn't need the love of someone like you. Neither does Troy," Eddy writes.
The Detroit News reported on the story, saying: "The city's newly elected mayor on Friday said she won't apologize for a Facebook status update she wrote five months ago referring to gay people as 'queers,' saying she was speaking for herself when she wrote it and she has a First Amendment right to use the language she wants."
The Detroit Free Press and several other local news organizations also reported on Daniels' Facebook post.
Daniels had not released a statement as of early Sunday, and phone calls and emails to Daniels asking for comment were not returned Friday or Saturday. The Facebook status update, which had been shared by more than 300 Facebook users at last count, was removed from her Facebook page some time Saturday.
An email to the Troy Area Tea Party went unanswered; phone calls and emails to the Oakland County Republican Party and Troy city manager were not returned.
Troy City Council will hold its regularly scheduled meeting Monday at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.