Pa. Councilman Accidently Sends ’Gay’ Message on Alert System
A councilman from Washington, Pa., (which is about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh) has been thrown into the media spotlight this week after he sent out a citywide email via an emergency alert system that read: "Alert: This a Test. Bryan is gay," Pittsburgh's CBS affiliate KDKA reports.
Pittsburgh Mayor Brenda Davis reprimanded councilman Matt Staniszewski for sending the unprofessional message.
"This is inappropriate for the city of Washington. Coming from the city of Washington, it does not look good for us," she reportedly said during a city council meeting. She added that a person who signed up to receive the alerts contacted the city to complain and that she does not know why Staniszewski had access to the alert system.
Staniszeweski tried to defend himself, however, and said that the comment was in reference to a college friend and that it was wrong of Davis to assume that the definition of "gay" he was using meant homosexual.
"We all know that the word means happy," Staniszewski said.
"Maybe in the 1950s that's what it meant, but we are in a new era now and that doesn't represent the City of Washington," Davis said in response to the councilman's defense.
This led Staniszewski to add: "It's offensive and unprofessional for the mayor to automatically assume one definition of the word when there are multiple definitions."
A number of media outlets picked up on the story, as well as late night host Jimmy Kimmel who poked fun of the incident on his talk show.
"So the city's gaydar system is function," Kimmel joked. When he told his audience that Staniszeweski meant to use "gay" as in happy, he said, "it's a great excuse if you're in the fourth grade."
"Nice try. This guy sounds like a real dumbbell. And by that I mean he sounds like someone you can use for strength training - not offensive," he said.
Watch the clip below: