While she was still campaigning to be the new mayor of Troy, Michigan, then-candidate Janice Daniels responded to the new freedom to marry in New York. The very day after gay marriage rights were made legal in New York, Daniels put a post on her Facebook page that went completely unnoticed at the time: “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.”
Now, I’ve discussed my wavering stance on gay marriage. I’ve discussed what I think about civil unions. I’ve also discussed the handful of ignorant comments made by some conservative leaders about the gay left as opposed to the laundry list of wildly inappropriate comments from the gay left about conservatives – particularly gay conservatives. I took my picture and my email off the blog within the first year due to hate mail and two separate incidents involving gay leftists trying to start physical fights with me. In all of the discussion, I have always been perfectly blunt about those who use gay slurs for the sole purpose of bullying a person and then refusing to apologize for it (Perez Hilton).
By the time Daniels’ remark was discovered, she had won the election and was officially the mayor of the City of Troy. It was Katie, one of my best friends in the wide world (and a resident of Detroit), who brought it to my attention. The comment drew intense negative attention to the new politician. The Detroit Free Press discussed calls for the mayor to resign. ABC weighed in. Towleroad left no question as to their stance on the issue. There was even a movement reported to boycott shopping in Troy. All of this, however, was after Daniels had apologized for the language she used. There has been no forgiveness. Yes, what she said was completely wrong and I have no trouble saying it – but she also said it, which was why I didn’t post about it when I first heard it had happened. I was disgusted that despite her apology, she was still being called a bully by protesters.
Today, I saw something that lifted my spirits and put a smile on my face. Amy Weber, a filmmaker and one of Katie’s close-knit circle of friends up in Michigan, stood up with her wife, Tina, and their two biological daughters Logan and Aiden to speak directly to mayor Daniels. Amy’s short remarks actually made me choke up. She wasn’t angry, she wasn’t spiteful, there was no name-calling, no accusations flung – she stood before a Tea Party mayor whose politics she may not completely agree with and called for unity in a way that precious few GLBT people do.
It is things like this that give me hope that our community might not be as covertly intolerant as I have experienced. It is a ray of light in a place where there have been few. I hope every single one of the GLBT people at that meeting understood what she was doing and follow that shining example. It should be the example for all GLBT people, regardless of political affiliation, to follow.