A Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee is facing the full wrath of social media this Tuesday over comments he made at a marathon board meeting this month in which he compared LGBTQ issues to cannibalism and pedophilia. Michael Del Grande, a TCDSB Vice-Chair, uttered the controversial remarks near the end of a six-hour meeting on November 7th, where trustees ultimately decided to amend the board’s code of conduct to include broader protections for LGBTQ students.
According to CBC, Del Grande, who worked as a Toronto city councillor and a budget chief for late mayor Rob Ford, pushed an amendment during the meeting.
The change suggested that other terms such as bestiality, pedophilia, cannibalism, auto-erotic asphyxiation, and auto-vampirism be added to the list of gender pronouns.
"I'd like all these terms to be considered, after all, everybody's concerned that the right terms are used, it's important to have the terms," Del Grande declared during the meeting.
Del Grande argued that adding gender identity to the board’s code of conduct was a “slippery slope.” His viewpoint quickly sparked fierce backlash on social media as many Torontonians flooded to the defence of the LGBTQ community and the decision to include gender pronouns.
“Get that monster away from children,” wrote one user in an extreme response to the controversy.
“What an ass! Why is he in any position of authority in the school system?” added another.
This will forever be my favourite response to people like Michael Del Grande who see any connection between LGBTQ r… https://t.co/BuGhdzuabq— Morgan (@Morgan)1574119127.0
This man - Michael Del Grande, who not only made this offensive presentation but also opposed breakfast programs fo… https://t.co/mixgeawk4D— LGray (@LGray)1573431117.0
@SteveRussell @Izzy74 @TorontoStar His reading of the list was allowed to go on for far too long. Mr. Del Grande's… https://t.co/ZvLEPhgQI8— michelle blais (@michelle blais)1573338713.0
@michelleblais2 @SteveRussell @Izzy74 @TorontoStar And what boggles my mind is that he considers himself an upstand… https://t.co/jqaP8MMyQM— Veronica Tuzi-Duarte (@Veronica Tuzi-Duarte)1573341011.0
Grandin Media reported that the decision to include the terms was followed by a report by the Archdiocese of Toronto.
The motion voted in favour of the inclusion of words such as “gender expression, gender identity, family status, and marital status” in the code to offer protection from discrimination to those in need.
However, it added that the policy “be interpreted through the lens of the Catholic faith as articulated by the teachings of the Church and protected in legislation.”
The final vote at the meeting was 8-4, with Garry Tanuan, Michael Del Grande, Nancy Crawford, and Teresa Lubinski all voting against the motion.