It goes without saying that in an era when everyone is on Facebook and knows how to do screenshots, you should be careful what ugly parts of your personality you reveal in the undoubtedly public space.
But as controversy swirls in one Michigan jurisdiction, another question has arisen after an injudicious Facebook post by a mayor- should an elected office be resigned if it’s found that the person elected to the position holds prejudicial views about a certain group of people? It seems the answer is obvious- how can someone serve a group of constituents if they don’t like black, Latino or gay people? One would think they really can’t. But mayor of Troy, Michigan Janice Daniels is hoping her constituency (which inevitably has some gay residents) will forgive her openly hateful comments on Facebook just a few months ago when gay marriage was legalized in the state of New York. Daniels- who had not yet been elected Mayor of Troy- said something I hope many people reading this post will find shocking and appalling in 2011:
“I think I am going to throw away my ‘I love New York’ carrying bag now that queers can get married there.”
Since the post was uncovered last night by local blog “Keep Troy Strong,” calls for Daniels’ resignation have come from all over the country. But Troy’s mayor thinks that it’s okay to say things like that and still remain in an office where she is expected to serve residents, queer and not queer alike. She hedged:
“I may have said something like that… I probably shouldn’t have used that kind of language, but I do believe marriage should be between one man and one woman.”
Daniels also says she “regrets having said it,” and added:
“I’m hoping because I’m expressing my regret, that people will accept that I’m human… And that’s what I’m asking for is forgiveness.”
While mistakes are understandable, it’s difficult to forgive what appears to be clear animosity toward a group that includes literally millions of tax-paying Americans. It’s not that she used the word “queer,” albeit derisively, but she also indicated ill-will towards the entire State of New York for granting gay couples the same civil rights enjoyed by their straight counterparts. While most scandals that end political careers, minor and major, seem to be down to personal business, there’s no way in the world someone who feels that way should be in a decision-making position. Do you think Daniels should resign her post as mayor?