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Amaranth, Ont., mayor ousted from Dufferin County committee chair position over homophobic comments

At Thursday's county council meeting, Currie apologized for his homophobic comments, saying he's sorry they "came across in a hateful way.".
At Thursday's county council meeting, Currie apologized for his homophobic comments, saying he's sorry they "came across in a hateful way.". YouTube Screenshot/Dufferin County

Following a majority vote at a Dufferin County council meeting on Thursday, Ontario’s Amaranth Township Mayor Bob Currie was ousted from his chair position of the county’s infrastructure and environmental services committee over homophobic comments he made at a council meeting on June 17.

At Thursday’s county council meeting, Currie apologized for his comments, saying he’s sorry they “came across in a hateful way.”

Read more: Ontario township mayor faces backlash over homophobic comments, decision not to raise Pride flag

“I did not properly express my Christian values of love and acceptance for all people,” he said at a Dufferin County council meeting Thursday.

“It was not my intention whatsoever to zero in on anybody.”

At the Thursday council meeting, Dufferin County Warden Darren White asked Currie if he would consider stepping aside from his role as the municipality’s infrastructure and environmental services committee chair.

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In response, Currie said his position as committee chair has “nothing to do with the comments (he) made at township council.”

After White pressed Currie further, Currie still insisted on not stepping down from the position.

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I don’t believe that you’re in a position where you have the authority any longer to speak on behalf of the County of Dufferin as a committee chair,” White said.

A motion was put forward to council to declare the committee chair position vacant and to seek a new chair at the next county council meeting. All council members, except Currie, voted in favour of the motion.

White said he believes Currie violated several sections of the code of conduct for Dufferin County council members.

“It is however not my place to adjudicate violations of the code of conduct,” White said at the meeting Thursday. “That is the purview of the integrity commissioner.”

Currie made homophobic comments at a recent Amaranth council meeting on June 17, when he also said the municipality should not raise the Pride flag.

Read more: Canada’s queer rights movement exists because of Black people — but that history is often ignored

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“I don’t think we should be flying the flag for this year,” Currie said at the meeting last week.

“If everybody was either lesbian or homosexual, this would be the last generation on earth because two homosexuals cannot produce offspring, two lesbians cannot produce offspring. Why would I want to support something when this could be the last generation on earth?”

Since Currie’s comments, more than 4,400 people have signed a petition to remove Currie from office.

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia