Mayor Who Made Antigay Comments Not Fired; Left Realty Job Voluntarily

By Advocate Contributors

Originally published on Advocate.com December 08 2011 6:16 PM ET

A report that newly appointed Troy, Mich., mayor Janice Daniels has been fired from a real estate sales job after she posted an antigay remark on Facebook is not true, says the manager of the brokerage where she had worked.

The Daily Tribune, a newspaper serving southeastern Michigan, reported Wednesday that Nancy Robinson, who works for Century 21 Town and Country, the same firm that had employed Daniels, said the mayor had been let go.

However, Dan Kersten, manager of the brokerage, told the online publication Troy Patch last night and confirmed to The Advocate today that Daniels had voluntarily put her real estate license in escrow, so she cannot work in the business. She put the license in escrow fairly recently, but she had been inactive in the business for the past six to 12 months, Kersten said, most likely to focus on her political career.

Robinson, who had posted her statement about Daniels's firing on the site GetOutAndLive.me, now has posted a correction. "I just wanted to clear everything up," Robinson wrote. "Apparently, Janice Daniels voluntarily put her license in escrow and she is no longer working as a Realtor." She also said her employer is LGBT-supportive. "I have worked for John Kersten [president of Century 21 Town and Country] for 13 years and I can tell you he is the most open, accepting and promoting of any owner of a business I have ever worked for. When my partner, Caren, came to work with me he extended to us the same benefit package as the married heterosexual couples have. He has encouraged me to be as open as I want to be and I have seen him do that for every other out gay and lesbian Realtor in this firm." She had earlier written that John Kersten "stated that he can have no one in his company, either employee or independent contractor, who would be capable of such insensitivity to the LGBT community, or to anyone for that matter."

Daniels has been under fire since last week, when a Facebook post she made in June came to light. Daniels wrote, "I think I'm going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there," in response to New York state's decision to legalize marriage equality.
 
The comment remained in relative obscurity until the blog Keep Troy Strong  uncovered the post.

"I may have said something like that," said Daniels. "I probably shouldn’t have used that kind of language, but I do believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. I love all people. I am human. That was probably a poor choice of words."

Although Daniels posted the remark before she was officially elected mayor last month, Equality Michigan executive director Denise Brogan-Kator says Daniels's words were out of line: "When we start attacking each other with slurs, and degrading others as human beings, it crosses the line."