Tensions between Hamilton’s LGBTQ2 community and the city’s mayor reached another level on Friday morning.
“This morning, my family and I were awoken to over 20 agitators at my home, yelling profanities, leaving signs on my lawn and banging on my door,” Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger tweeted. “This is absolutely unacceptable. Harassment of my family, my neighbours or anyone is crossing the line. Police are investigating.”
Eisenberger was a guest on Global News Radio 900 CHML’s Bill Kelly Show shortly after his tweet.
The mayor added that members of the crowd were reportedly yelling: “Eisenberger hates queers.”
“I’m an ally who has been actively working with the queer-trans community on a whole range of things,” he told Global News Radio 900 CHML. “The agitators have been able to turn us against each other.”
Eisenberger had come under criticism after what the local LGBTQ2 community perceived as a lack of protection against a seemingly growing number of far-right groups in Hamilton, culminating at the June 15 Pride festivities at Gage Park.
A self-proclaimed Christian group was joined by another far-right group known as the Yellow Vests in protesting the event, resulting in violence and eventual arrests by Hamilton police.
Pride organizers, however, said police took too long to intervene.
Eisenberger, who chairs the police board, angered many by calling the complaints “a false narrative” in response to a Twitter user.
Hamilton police Chief Eric Girt stirred things up further after comments made on Global News Radio 900 CHML’s Bill Kelly Show that were perceived as retribution by some.
“We were asked not to be present for a variety of reasons,” Girt said in reference to a request by Pride Hamilton not to have a Hamilton police recruitment booth on the premises. “Which is fine. That’s their right. But they wanted us on the perimeter.”
WATCH: Police arrest suspect involved in Hamilton Pride altercation
Mayor Eisenberger took to Twitter again on June 25, this time to reiterate his support for the LGBTQ2 community.
“Inclusivity must be much more than an aspiration,” he wrote. “We must work together to make it a reality in our day-to-day lives. We need to accept criticism and feedback and change where needed. We need to listen and learn from all communities in Hamilton.”
In May, Hamilton’s LGBTQ2 advisory committee voted unanimously against the annual raising of the Pride flag in front of city hall.
During its meeting, the committee put forward a motion calling on the city to cancel the flag raising on May 31 and instead hold an “open public discussion.”
The city raised the flag anyway.
The LGBTQ2 advisory committee held a public discussion on June 19, which Eisenberger did not attend.
He was also not present at the Pride festivities.