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Troy Mayor Said 'Disturbing Things' in Meeting, Gay-Straight Alliance Leader Says

Janice Daniels' reference to homosexuality being dangerous to mental health disturbed leaders of the Troy High School Gay-Straight Alliance, whom the mayor met with on Monday.

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels again met with members of the Monday afternoon in an effort to reach an understanding after Daniels' anti-gay Facebook slur garnered statewide and last month.

The meeting, however, left several members of the GSA and their supporters disappointed.

“There were a lot of disturbing things that were said in that meeting," said GSA member and Troy High School senior Skye Curtis.

According to Curtis and others who attended the meeting – including GSA member and lesbian couple – Daniels, while discussing mental health and suicide among members of the LGBT community, at one point suggested putting together a panel of psychologists to show that homosexuality is dangerous to your mental health.

"She definitely meant it in quite a negative connotation," Curtis said.

"The mayor of Troy told my daughter this afternoon that she wants to bring in a panel of psychologists to explain to the high school's Gay-Straight Alliance that homosexuality is a mental disease," Rodney Curtis, Skye's father, wrote on his Facebook page.

Amy Weber was so disturbed by Daniels' comments that she attended the Troy City Council meeting Monday evening and asked for an audio copy of the meeting between the Troy High GSA and the mayor, which the mayor recorded, during public comment.

When asked about the comment, however, Daniels said she said no such thing.

"That is a misrepresentation entirely," Daniels said in an interview with Troy Patch Monday evening. "I would like to meet with Skye and her parents to discuss these kinds of issues. Rather than have all this division, we need to come together, because I never said that."

"Her tune changed completely," Kilgore said. "Before, she was very for an anti-bullying event because she thought we could turn this into a positive thing. What we found out today was that she was not planning on doing that.  

"She turned it into an anti-suicide thing, which is great, but she wanted to completely ignore the issue that started this."

“That bullying leads to suicide," Curtis continued. "Then we started talking about who could possibly speak, and she alluded to the fact that she wanted to bring in a panel of psychologists who would testify that homosexuality was a mental disease."

“This was implied by her," Kilgore clarified. "She didn’t explicitly say it. Somebody said something to the effect of, 'we can't tell these kids that what they're doing is wrong.'"

"And she said, 'well, I can get a panel to testify,'" Curtis said. "Which is really horrifying, because if we're trying to prevent suicide, telling a room full of gay kids that they have a mental disease probably isn't a way to prevent suicide."

Curtis said they hope to press on with plans to put on an anti-bullying and suicide prevention program some time in January or February.

"We're moving on without her," Kilgore said.

Mike January 12, 2012 at 11:07 PM
It isn't worth responding to people like Audre Zembrzuski or MaryAnn Bernardi.. No matter how much evidence or facts you show them, they just have tunnel vision and dont see whats really out there. The damage done by the mayor wont be fully seen for a few years...
John Deuel January 13, 2012 at 03:38 AM
She needs to resign immediately. It'll resolve the disgrace brought upon Troy quickly and effectively and let you fine folks have a chance at having a reasonably sensitive and savvy person as your mayor.
Linda January 13, 2012 at 05:30 PM
John, I agree, but unfortunately, I doubt that will happen. She doesn't think she did anything wrong and is on a mission to push her agenda.
Linda January 14, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Does the following sound familiar? "I can remember commenting on one of her articles and calling her out for her unethical speech. Like many people who engage in bullying behavior and personal attacks, she would try to turn the tables and play the victim, and took criticism of the content of her opinions personally, complaining that people were picking on her." It is a post from "ccbloger" on December 2, 2011, in reference to an editorial that Janice had in the Oakland Press. This was way before she was elected Mayor. I guess some habits never die.
Bill Lynn January 28, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Point of fact. The APA replaced "homosexuality" in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) in 1973 and replaced it with "ego-dystonic homosexuality" which was removed entirely from the DSM in 1986. Since then, the field of psychiatry has not recognized homosexuality alone as a mental illness. Which isn't to say that members of the LGBT community aren't affected by other forms of mental illness just the way the straight community is. What worries me most about mental illness and the LGBT community is the high rate of teen suicide. And I can't help but think that Daniels' publicly expressed homophobia will do irreparable harm to the LGBT students in Troy. It's really time for her to go before her hate causes some despondent teenager to kill themselves.

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