Canada: Property agent fired for distributing homophobic leaflets

May 5, 2013
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A Canadian property agent has been fired for distributing leaflets that attack same-sex marriage and gay parents.

Andrew Ciastek, a sales representative for RE/MAX in Mississauga, Southern Ontario, caused anger last week by distributing a flyer which argued “Traditional family is the best for the future of the kids.”

The flyer drew on evidence from the Regnerus study on parenting, which has been criticised for using unfair research methods biased against same-sex parents.

Local resident Jon McDonald said he was furious when he discovered the flyer in his newspaper. It had been dispatched to hundreds of homes in the Port Credit and Lorne Park neighbourhoods.

He said: “My blood pressure went up 100%. I read it and thought, ‘What does this have to do with selling houses?’”

Christine Martysiewicz, RE/MAX’s director for internal and public relations in the area, said on Friday that Mr Ciastek had been fired for “poor judgment on his personal marketing”.

“We assure the general public that his actions in no way reflect RE/MAX or our associates. We’re offended by the insensitivity shown here just as much as the community is. We take pride in the diversity of our workforce and our clients,” she added.

After reading the material, Mr McDonald complained to RE/MAX, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Peel police diversity unit.

Mr Ciastek denies accusations of homophobia. The Star reports he said: “I didn’t want to offend anybody… I didn’t have bad intentions.”

He is slated to make an apology for the fliers, and RE/MAX have said they will make a donation to the local Peel LGBT Pride.

Related topics: Americas, Canada, Canada, Employment, flyer, Homophobia, leaflet, ontario, real estate, realtor

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