Arlington councilman dismisses constituents’ concerns about gas drilling with a gay joke

Posted on 03 Sep 2010 at 1:16pm
Mel LeBlanc

Arlington City Councilman Mel LeBlanc recently responded to a constituent’s concerns about gas drilling in the city by making a joke about gay sex, according to e-mails obtained by Instant Tea.

LeBlanc couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

According to copies of the e-mails, Arlington residents Ken and Kim Feil sent LeBlanc a copy of an article from The Advocate, a newspaper in Baton Rouge, La., about an oil and gas well blowout in that state. Arlington is considering changes to its gas drilling ordinance.

LeBlanc, who reportedly supports gas drilling, responded to the Feils’ e-mail by saying he thought The Advocate was a national gay publication — which it is; there is more than one Advocate — and asking what this has to do with “drilling holes in the … .” Then LeBlanc added, “oh, wait, I see” in an apparent attempt at humor. Here’s the e-mail:

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So, should we be offended by this bad juvenile joke? From a gay standpoint, probably not. But if we were the Feils we’d probably be a little annoyed that LeBlanc is making light of their concerns about gas drilling. We’d say LeBlanc’s e-mail might also raise the question of how he knows about the gay Advocate.

We spoke with Kim Feil about the e-mail on Friday, and she said LeBlanc has already called her to apologize. But Feil, who calls herself an environmental activist, said based on her past experience with LeBlanc, she wasn’t surprised by his joke.

“It was expected,” Feil said. “He just evades facing the issues. He’s pretty consistent with being offensive.”

UPDATE: LeBlanc has posted a response in the comments below.

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