A councilman from Washington County, Pa. sent out a mass test email alert of the city's transit system. The email read, “Alert. This is a test. Bryan is gay,” according to WPXI.com news on March 5.
Matt Staniszewski claimed he meant the reference to Bryan as 'being happy.' Bryan may be happy, but the mayor isn't.
City of Washington Mayor Brenda Davis stated he acted in an “inappropriate and unprofessional” manner for an elected official. Davis believes the semantics of the word 'gay' is not an appropriate alternative to use for 'happy' in today's world.
Staniszewski claims there are numerous definitions for the word 'gay.' Merriam-Webster's definition does include four different meanings, e.g., merry, lively, licentious and homosexual.
Staniszewski released the following statement about the incident: "It's offensive and unprofessional for the mayor to automatically assume one definition of the word when there are multiple definitions.” (Source)
Individuals serving in a council position are held accountable for professional behaviors. Having responsibility for sending out mass test email alerts for emergency purposes is given to professionals who are expected to abide by standard protocol and socially acceptable behaviors.
In the event Staniszewski did imply 'Bryan' was [merry, lively or licentious] instead of homosexual, it is still considered unprofessional behavior for the test purposes. It is irrelevant to mention Bryan is 'happy' in a mass test email alert for the transit system.
Staniszewski may not be aware that his unprofessional behaviors are socially unacceptable for his official position.
At this time, Bryan has not been indentified.
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