Police investigate Catholic dad after he asked Catholic school board to not fly gay pride flag
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TORONTO, March 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Police are investigating a Catholic father over allegations that he committed a “hate” crime for asking a Catholic school board not to recognize “Pride month” or fly the rainbow flag at Catholic schools.
Jody Maillet, a part-time university instructor, told the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s (TCDSB) March 4 meeting that he was “concerned” about a proposal to “recognize or celebrate gay pride month and fly the gay pride flag over our Toronto schools.”
“I oppose this, and I ask that you do as well,” said Maillet at the regular meeting of the “Student Achievement and Well-Being Catholic Education Human Resources” committee where Garry Tanuan is Chair and Teresa Lubinski is Vice-Chair.
“The reason why is simple: Because gay pride is not compatible with the Catholic faith. You have a spiritual and moral duty to ensure a compassionate, caring, and loving Catholic environment at our schools,” the father, who has two children attending a TCDSB school, said.
Maillet went on to quote what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses this with three simple paragraphs. Paragraph 2358 says that we must accept the person with ‘respect, compassion, and sensitivity,’” he said.
“This is true of course. I’ve seen this section used by lobbyists without quoting its sister paragraphs, 2357 and 2359,” he added.
In paragraph 2357, the Catechism calls homosexual acts “intrinsically disordered,” adding that “under no circumstances can they be approved.”
Maillet told the board that groups who support such relationships have no place in Catholic schools.
“Groups that promote gay pride month and fly the gay pride flag by their nature support these relationships. Sending up gay pride flags and recognizing gay pride month are a sign that their message holds a place in our schools and that their message is not to be contradicted. Flags are flown by those who hold control. Sending signals that support gay pride messages is contrary to the teachings of the Church and have no place in our schools,” he said.
He went on to tell the board that paragraph 2359 of the Catechism “points the way” for how Catholic schools should care for students who experience same-sex attraction.
“Chastity, self-mastery, prayer, and sacramental grace – basically the Eucharist and going to confession,” Maillet said.
“What we don’t want to do is send a student to groups or organizations that lead away from the teachings of Christ and his Church. If something is against Church teaching, that means souls are at risk,” he added.
Maillet concluded his presentation by quoting Jesus’ warning in the Gospel of Matthew to adults who scandalize children, causing them to fall.
“The words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 18 verse 6 is a reminder for each one of us: ‘If anyone 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 drowned in the depths of the sea.’”
A day after the meeting, pro-LGBT YouTube channel Dignity Lighthouse clipped Maillet speech and posted it on the video sharing platform.
LGBT activists and allies immediately started an online campaign against Maillet, accusing him of “homophobia.” Social media messages on Twitter reveal that they reached out to the police and asked for an investigation.
Police Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu of the Toronto Police Service confirmed to LifeSiteNews that an investigation is underway.
“The Hate Crime Unit is working with the divisional investigator to determine whether or not the comments made during the meeting would constitute hate propaganda charges,” Sidhu said.
“This is currently an active investigation. The identity of the person who is alleged to have made comments has not been confirmed by TPS [Toronto Police Service], as [sic] this time,” she added.
Jack Fonseca, director of political operations at Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life and pro-family organization, said it was “absolutely outrageous that this faithful Catholic father is being investigated by police for quoting the words of Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible.”
“It's truly unbelievable,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Is it now considered illegal and ‘hate speech’ to say aloud the words of Jesus Christ, and to quote from the Bible? Of course it is not. The police who agreed to investigate Jody are the ones who need to be investigated, not only for lack of knowledge of the law, but potentially, for colluding with militant gay-activists in a harassment and hate campaign against a law-abiding citizen exercising his constitutional right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.”
“We cannot stand for police acting as thugs to carry out the hateful agenda of a political-activist lobby group,” he added.
LGBT activists and allies also reached out to places where Maillet works to make them aware of what Maillet had said at the meeting.
McMaster University, where Maillet works part time as a co-instructor, released a statement on March 5 distancing themselves from Maillet.
“McMaster University Continuing Education has been made aware of a statement made by one of our instructors at a recent Toronto Catholic District School Board meeting. The views of this instructor do not align with our values and the inclusive environment we strive to provide for our students, staff, faculty and community inside and outside of the classroom,” the university stated on Twitter.
It remains unclear if McMaster has canceled any existing contracts with Maillet.
Toronto City Councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam accused Maillet on Twitter of calling for LGBT allies to be “killed.”
“Yesterday this person spoke against rainbow flags in @TCDSB schools during Pride. If that doesn't get you, he ends his deputation by saying #LGBTQ2S allies should be killed by drowning. This is right before the Trustees vote,” she wrote in a March 4 tweet.
Fonseca pointed out, however, that there's “absolutely nothing over the top nor inappropriate in Maillet’s comments.”
“His recitation of Christ's millstone warning for those who cause children to stumble was clearly a spiritual warning to the elected Catholic School Trustees to whom he was speaking, whose role is to pass on the Catholic faith to the next generation. Those words could easily have rolled off the lips of a Catholic priest, Bishop or catechist,” he said.
“To learn that dishonest gay activists and left-wing City Councillors are misrepresenting Maillet’s scriptural reference as a ‘death threat’ to homosexuals is more than ludicrous. It's shameful, disgraceful, a lie and total slander,” he added. “This faithful, soft-spoken father said nothing wrong.”
Fonseca said the dad deserves the praise of school trustees and the church hierarchy for “eloquently and accurately stating Church teaching in a very compassionate way.”
“Maillet is being persecuted for his Catholic religious beliefs. What has happened to him is anti-Christian bigotry and hate of the most vile form. The lies being told about him are very serious. He needs to lawyer up and start suing everybody. What the lying City Councillors accused him of has opened them and the City up to a libel suit in the category of Nick Sandeman vs. CNN. Jody needs to sue those Councillors and the City for millions of dollars for making up these vile and dangerous lies about him. He should also sue any other activist, trustee or group that repeats those lies,” he said.
A number of TCDSB trustees also revealed on Twitter their disdain for Maillet’s presentation.
“There are consequences for those who spread hatred & profess to be Catholic-you know who you are. Some feel holier than Pope and want to make us feel like lesser Catholics. I stand with Pope: God created us all in his image,” Trustee Maria Rizzo, Ward 5, tweeted March 6.
Rizzo tweeted hours later that “No one should use bible as a weapon to advance their fundamentalist views to spread hatred at 2SLGBTQ+ students and smilies [sic].”
Trustee Markus de Domenico also weighed in on Twitter on March 6, indirectly accusing Maillet of “hate and bigotry.”
“I take hope knowing the vast majority of Catholics are loving, accepting people who believe in the teachings of Christ. We do not support hate and bigotry. We do not use the bible as a vile weapon against others. I stand with the Pope: God created us all in His image,” he wrote.
Fonseca commented that the persecution Maillet is now facing for stating Catholic moral teaching reveals that a culture of “gay supremacy” has infiltrated many institutions.
“The ugly, vindictive, hate-filled actions of the gay lobby against this loving and respectful Catholic father demonstrates a serious problem that has become systemic throughout society. It is fashionable to speak of ‘systemic racism’ these days and whip up fears of white supremacy, as if there's more than a handful of guys in the whole country who truly fit that label. However, the real problem in society now which this situation drives home, is one of gay supremacy. The gay lobby has become so powerful that it is imposing a regime of gay supremacy on all our institutions,” he said.
“What do we hear about this gentle, respectful Catholic father? Fire him from his college contract! Don't allow him to earn a living! Sic the police on him to harass and persecute him! Incite the newspapers to vilify him publicly for his religious beliefs. The gay supremacy we're witnessing is dangerous to our civil liberties and constitutional freedoms. It threatens to ghettoize Christians, take away their right to work, their right to freedom of religion and their free speech. Enough is enough, and all people of good will, including gays of goodwill, must speak out against the new anti-Christian pogrom,” he added.