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Janet Mabley
(1955 - living) Canada

Janet Mabley

Deputy mayor

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Deputy mayor, Town of Richmond Hill, Ontario, and Regional Councillor Janet Mabley, was born and raised in Richmond Hill. She's been involved with another woman for six years. Her partner has three young children who live with them half of the time, and with their father the other half. Mabley also has children, both of them adult. She was married for almost 24 years.

"I don't think my sexuality is a political issue, I haven't announced it, but I'm very open. My partner and I go to functions and events together. We don't hide anything." says Mabley. "I had a wonderful marriage. I have nothing bad to say about it. I knew I was gay many years ago... and it wasn't fair to him. It was like sister and brother for me. He's a good-looking man, a smart man, and he should get on with his life. We were in love, and I didn't do this lightly. But it wasn't fair to him - or to me."

Mabley came out, but didn't make a big deal about it. She makes a point of saying she doesn't "shove her relationship" down anyone's throat. She attends Toronto Pride, though "some of the antics don't represent me."

And this year, she's thinking of asking Richmond Hill's city council to proclaim Pride. Mabley first held public office in 1985, as a trustee at the York Region Public School Board. Three years later she was elected (then re-elected) to city council. In 1994, she made regional council, and in 1997 became deputy mayor.

But she may have more prominence in Richmond Hill for her seven-year fight to close down two strip clubs - at some risk to herself and family. "I was shot at but it is difficult to prove who did it. The bullet shattered the back window and the side window of my car." The battle went all the way up to the Ontario Court Of Appeal, but she won. "This was because of drugs and prostitution. I have nothing against strip clubs, they are legal.

Mabley says she works 60 to 80 hours a week and is involved with more than 20 committees, including the York Region Abuse Program for molested kids and vice-chair of the Homeless Task Force Of York Region.

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