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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.

firelight January 12, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Yes, you have a right to expess your opinion, but you do not have the right to say that people have said things they haven't said, and to extrapolate what they would do or say in other venues. You have absolutely no right to do that. So, let's try to do the right thing and call it a night. Have a good day tomorrow.
Lucille Musser Arking January 12, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Audre : to answer your questions What is wrong with you calling them, or are you affraid they won't answer yo? 1. Calling Mayor Daniels is not appropriate as this is something that shold not be discussed on the telephone. I have received no answers from her about my e-mails . e-mails. Moreover it is trusted friends that can help her the most by being helpful in having her understand that she needs to use acceptable lanugage etc as an elected public offical . 2. Ms Lucille ir should I say Dr. you should know better if you have a doctors degree or is that just a line you hand out. Maybe it is the same as Obama's, he wouldn't know what to do with it either. This comment has nothing to do with anything related to Mayor Daniels . It is a "red herring " . I never have asked anyone in my private life to use that title . It is a professional education status not a staus symbol . The disrespectful comment about President Obama is out of line. Whomever is president of the USA should be address with respect. Furthermore her has demonstrated that he has more brains then you and I put together.
Lucille Musser Arking January 12, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Audre : To answer your questions What is wrong with you calling them, or are you affraid they won't answer you? 1. Calling Mayor Daniels is not appropriate as this is something that should not be discussed on the telephone. I have received no answers from her about any of my my e-mails . That seems to be the pattern of some city council people. Moreover it is trusted friends that can help her the most by being helpful in having her understand that she needs to use acceptable lanugage etc as an elected public offical . 2. Ms Lucille or should I say Dr. you should know better if you have a doctors degree or is that just a line you hand out. Maybe it is the same as Obama's, he wouldn't know what to do with it either. This comment has nothing to do with anything related to Mayor Daniels . It is a "red herring " . I never have asked anyone in my private life to use that title . It is a professional education status not a staus symbol . The disrespectful comment about President Obama is out of line. Whomever is president of the USA should be address with respect. Furthermore her has demonstrated that he has more brains then you and I put together. Also what is it I should know better ? While I am direct and frank I try very harm to do it respectfully . I also try to be instructive. If I have failed to do those things ,I apologize and ask those who feel I failed to fogive me.
Ron of Troy January 12, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Audre Zembrzuski, How are YOUR rights being trampled on?
Ron of Troy January 12, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Audre Zembrzuski, Yes, she did make the facebook entry before she was in office, but she has handled the whole situation very poorly since. She is holding to keeping her private beliefs public. She no longer has the same freedom of speech in her position, especially since this issue has nothing to do with the business of the City and being our self appointed minister is not in her job description. She has shown me she is not politically mature enough to hold such an important public office as the Mayor of the City of Troy.
Ron of Troy January 12, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I am right there with you, Sharon! Again, she is our Mayor, not our Minister!! She needs to keep her Proselytizing to herself and do her job for All of Troy. She appears to be an ideologue before she is leader of the City.
Ron of Troy January 12, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Let's keep our focus on the Mayor. She needs to repair this situation, by apologizing to the City for letting her personal beliefs supersede what is best for the whole city. Her responses create the appearance she intends to stick to her ideology and her freedom of speech rather than behaving as Mayor. She works for ALL of us equally, regardless of any other personal issue. These social issues have NOTHING to do with the position of Mayor. Again, she is OUR MAYOR, NOT OUR MINISTER! Adherence to one's strict, personal ideology over common sense will always sink a politician, always!
Mel January 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I do not live in Troy, or Rochester for that matter, but I wonder why that should have anything to do with responding to this Patch article? For those of you that don't know it yet, we live in a global environment. I didn't think I needed a passport to get into the city of Troy. And for those who don't welcome people into their cities to shop don't understand government at all, nor do they understand how their tax dollars are determined. It is called Revenue Sharing and it works like this: People shop in your city, the state collects sales tax and then the state returns a portion of that tax to the cities. This reduces your property tax. So for heavens sake, and for the sake of property tax payers you should be welcoming everyone. (For a little homework assignment call the City of Troy Treasurer and ask what percentage of the city tax base is paid by Somerset Collections property owners. If people did not shop there your property taxes would skyrocket.) I am sorry for the city of Troy and I am sorry for the State of Michigan that one person has brought such a negative spotlight on all of us. Whether you consider her a friend or you consider her a liability you have to admit she is not a particularly good role model at this time. Because she is an admitted Tea Partier she will likely carry on in an angry mode. I pitty anyone who has to walk through life with a chip on their shoulders.
Audre Zembrzuski January 12, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Mary Ann, I think some old people that was on the council may have been the ones to tell Linds to post it. That is what I have heard.
Linda January 12, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Mel, Very well said. Hopefully your objective message will reach some of these posters. I have gone to a couple of Tea Party events. The Tea Party Express that stopped in Troy was a great experience. It was a civil gathering of like-minded people who felt we are Taxed Enough Already. Unfortunately, I also went to a Troy Tea Party event and it was not a good experience. You are right about the anger. I don't understand this. Why can't there be civil dialogue with the parties getting their facts straight, or at least be open to checking them? This type of behavior does nothing to promote the original intention.
Audre Zembrzuski January 12, 2012 at 04:54 PM
MA let's give Lucille al the credit for this, after all she is a Dr. but must have nothing better to do than gossip on this Patch.
Audre Zembrzuski January 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Sharon, I don't believe you were the whistle blower, I think some exMayor put you up to this and told you to put it on your facebook so others could read it. I am surprise that you didn't give a speech at the schools, almost sounds like you did to get this attention.
Audre Zembrzuski January 12, 2012 at 05:04 PM
MA, don't give these people the time of day, Just get that stupid paper of your computer because they have carried this too long. I would like to see them stay out of our city hall also. All reporters, but these people are not reporters just gossip ones.
Audre Zembrzuski January 12, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Just how many times does she have to appoligize to the kids which were in the audience at the council meeting If you get one "I am sorry for what I said" out of a man you are happy, but a woman has to say it over and over and you still don't let up. and if she is OUR MAYOR, then let her do her job as Mayor. I don't remember all of you writing anything to the last Mayor, or the two before her, so what is your problem.
Audre Zembrzuski January 12, 2012 at 05:16 PM
What is wrong with you people she has done that a few times and once should be enough. Grow up and act like an adult not a kid in school
Audre Zembrzuski January 12, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Mel, I don't care if you shop here or not, my taxes are still high, so you don't help me and another thing what tax money they get goes right back into the DDA which is the business people that have the shops. Also they should pay the city of Troy the money for the parking deck which came out of the home owners money to build it.
Cathy Fucinari January 12, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I believe there is a LOT of hate going on here. In this feed and in this town. I lived in Alabama from 1962 through 1966. I actually saw Klan meetings occurring in fields when we were driving down the road. I have not seen hate like that until now. I moved to Troy because it was a community being built by a diverse population, which I THOUGHT would prevent such things from occurring here. I never saw that behavior in Troy until the Tea Party came to town. I never heard people make bigoted comments here until the Tea party came to town. Not every one behaves that way, but those who don't have a responsibility to reject that behavior when they see it. It is not socially acceptable. The kinds of tantrums I have seen in public are worthy of a 10 year old. Anyone see the Channel 7 tape of the Mayor's office hours this week? Please. That is NOT how a mature, experienced government representative behaves. The conversation on this feed has degenerated into the same kind of whining. Grow up, folks. Especially those of you who profess to be Christians, and then make hateful comments. This is not directed at anyone in particular, so if you are feeling defensive, perhaps you should look in a mirror.
Ron of Troy January 12, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Well said Mel!!
Ron of Troy January 12, 2012 at 05:36 PM
You missed Mel's point. What he has to say about this issue is you need to understand. You are not representing us well with your talk about parking decks! That has nothing to do with the Mayor's behavior, which we are intending to change.
Ron of Troy January 12, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Audre Zembrzuski, She is not done. She has one statement to do in order to put this behind all of us. The Mayor needs to apologize, not just to our kids, but to the whole City and publicly promise to keep her personal moral views out of discussion while she is Mayor and suggest that they are not appropriate in the context of any city business or council meetings by anyone. As Mayor, she no longer can exercise her freedom to speak openly on these issues. She cannot even APPEAR to take a side or hint at doing so. It is totally inappropriate for her to act as our Minister. She is no longer a representative of herself; she is the representative of every citizen of Troy. It is one of the burdens and benefits of the office. Only this will put this matter behind all of us, so we can continue on in the business of the City of Troy.
Abbey January 12, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Audre, the problem with ignorance is that those who suffer most from it don't know they have it and keep spreading it around. Homeowners don't pay into the DDA. Homeowners did not pay for the Somerset parking deck. Stop talking until you know what you are saying.
Abbey January 12, 2012 at 06:12 PM
That's awfully rich coming from you. Anyone who knows you knows that you do the very things you accuse everyone else of doing.
danny January 12, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Thank you, Sharon. It is quite obvious, to the entire country at this point, that Troy, MI has elected a Mayor who is shockingly unqualified to hold a public leadership position. Let's just hope the damage she causes is contained as much as possible. The citizens deserve better... as do the business. Both will suffer until she is out of office.
Lucille Musser Arking January 12, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Audre, The subject is the mayor and her behavior as mayor . It is not about me . It is not about anyone but her . It is about the fact that she says hateful things about groups of people that she believes she can insult and it is her right to free speech . She is a bully who bullied both both Mayor Schilling and Councilperson Kerwin. She has bullied our city manager and other city employees . She has never appropriately apologized to the gay community or to the citizens of Troy for the defaming effect she had on our city. An appropriate apology never has a "but: in it . It also requires a change in behavior . We have seen neither of those . Her attempts at apologies have always been more excuses . Sorry but that is what I am saying and what I think the majority in this blog are saying. So this is the topic : "Troy Mayor Said 'Disturbing Things' in Meeting, Gay-Straight Alliance " nothing else and no red herrings .
Lucille Musser Arking January 12, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Audre , What does this do to add to the discourse ? What is your hangup with my PhD. ? I will inform you that I earned. I paid my tuition. I give much effort to my profession . Since I am 76 years old and still work at my profession maybe it is okay I take sometime off once in awhile. Now can we return to the focus of this discourse? . I now understand why you forget to add content to this discourse, you think we are gossiping . I think we are trying to have a discourse about the situation our mayor has put our city in with her behavior . How it has hurt our city. What she needs to do to end the disgrace we have all over the world. She is accountiable to all of us as an elected official .
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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