Janice Daniels, the newly installed mayor of Troy, Michigan, has offered a tepid apology for criticizing New York's decision to legalize gay marriage.

Daniels, a Tea Party favorite, wrote in a June 25 Facebook status update: “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.”

Speaking Monday on the Charlie Langton radio show, Daniels said she was sorry, then added that her comment was in jest.

“I absolutely do regret it, I shouldn't have used such language, and while I do believe marriage should be between one man and one woman, it was inappropriate to use that language … For me to have said it, it was a poke in the eye and it was inappropriate and I do apologize.”

“It was meant to be a joke, just a funny, just a poke, just a silly thing,” she added.

The acknowledgment was a flip from Friday – the day her status went viral on Facebook – when she defended her comment in a statement: “I firmly support marriage as being defined as between one man and one woman and I am not going to change my position. The groups that despise me are digging deep to try to find something to worry about. They probably should start worrying about how they can best work with a new mayor who believes that we live in a free country and we all have first amendment rights to speak our minds on any and all issues that are before us.”

Later in the day on Monday, Daniels also apologized to a group of Troy High School students who were calling for her resignation outside Troy City Hall. But the students became riled when Daniels told them that queer “is just a word,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

“That shows she just does not understand,” Zach Kilgore, 17, told the paper. “We had a pretty calm conversation and then it erupted into people screaming at her and calling her [a] bully,” he said.