TROY, Mich. — Janice Daniels, the homophobic mayor of Troy, Mich., who has previously called homosexuality “a mental disease,” was ousted from office Tuesday in a recall election.
With all precincts reporting, Daniels was recalled by a 52-48 percent vote.
Daniels, who closely identified herself with the local Tea Party, received negative attention last year when a Facebook status surfaced that she had made not long before her election, which read, “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.”
She was embroiled in further controversy after members of a local high school Gay-Straight Alliance accused her of making homophobic remarks during a meeting with them last January.
“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, a parent wrote on his Facebook page.
In an attempt to deflect statements criticizing her stance, Daniels further antagonized voters and the community in Troy with her statements, including a comparison of the dangers of the “homosexual lifestyle” to smoking cigarettes.
Not long after that meeting, local Attorney John Kulesz spearhead the recall campaign after Daniels received considerable negative attention.
The recall campaign brought in over $18,000 in donations, attracted more than 100 volunteers and has received the support of community leaders, including three City Council members. Despite a last-minute challenge from the mayor herself, the Recall Janice Daniels group succeeded in their effort to place the recall on the Nov. 6 ballot, turning in almost 9,000 signatures in July.
During efforts to organize the recall, Kulez told reporters, “We have a lot of work to do to make Troy’s reputation what it was, I think, and the first step is removing the mayor. We want to stop the embarrassment of Troy.”
The recall raised the issue over Daniels’ negative statements about city employees and her vote against a proposed transit center backed by millions of federal funding.