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Toronto Police investigating homophobic remarks at school board meeting as hate speech

The Toronto Police Hate Crime Unit has launched an investigation into remarks made by a part-time McMaster University instructor during a Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) meeting earlier this month. 

In a video posted to YouTube on March 5 that has since been deleted, Jody Maillet can be heard saying he is the father of two students before objecting to the board's proposal to fly the gay pride flag at Toronto schools during the month of June.

"I oppose this and I ask that you do as well," Maillet said during the board's March 4 meeting. "The reason why is simple: It's because gay pride is not compatible with the Catholic faith."

The instructor said the board choosing to fly the flag would give off the impression that it supports LGBTQ2s+ relationships, and he also quoted a bible verse that many have said amounts to calling for the drowning of LGBTQ2s allies.

"If any one of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones, who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drown in the depths of the sea," reads the verse in part.

TPS Const. Michelle Flannery confirmed to blogTO Friday that an investigation into these remarks is underway, though she said hate propaganda cases are complex and require the consent of the Attorney General's office if charges are deemed appropriate. 

A number of LGBTQ2s+ advocates have meanwhile spoken out against the homophobic comments in recent weeks, including city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam. 

In response to the outrage, TCDSB has reaffirmed its commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, and it is currently inviting members of the community and allies to consider serving on the 2SLGBTQ+ Advisory Committee

"The Committee includes representatives from among Trustees, staff, parents/guardians, and students, with the mandate to advise the Board on Policies, Programs and Services, which support student achievement and well-being within the Catholic Mission/Vision of the TCDSB and Catholic Social Teaching," says the school board.

The Board of Trustees is also currently reviewing a board meeting policy that, as it stands, does not require advance submission of a delegation.

In a statement sent to CityNews, McMaster University also condemned Maillet's comments, though the school didn't specify whether he'll remain in his position as a part-time instructor.

 "There is no place for homophobia or transphobia at McMaster," said the university. "The views of the individual, who is a part-time instructor in McMaster's Continuing Education area, do not align with the university's values."

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