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Canadian real estate agent under fire for distributing anti-gay flyer

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — A Canadian real estate agent has come came under fire for distributing a flyer that promotes “traditional” families and cited a controversial study by a University of Texas researcher that criticizes same-sex parents.

Andrew Ciastek, a sales representative for RE/MAX, distributed the flyers — which said “traditional family is the best for the future of the kids” — to hundreds of homes in this western Toronto suburb.

The brochure infuriated several area residents, reported the Toronto Star.

“My blood pressure went up 100 percent. I read it and thought, ‘What does this have to do with selling houses?’” said Jon McDonald, a retired school teacher.

Ciastek’s flyer cited a study conducted by Mark Regnerus, a Texas sociologist who claimed that children of homosexual parents are more likely to be unemployed. The study itself has been soundly discredited by leading experts in the field of sociology, and the study has been widely criticized for its methodology, research sampling, and peer review process.

The Peel Metropolitan Regional Police and the Ontario Human Rights Commission both disclosed that they had received numerous written, e-mail, and telephone complaints about the flyer.

Christine Martysiewicz, Director of Public relations for RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada, said that its realtors are independent contractors and do their own marketing. She said the flyer was not vetted by the broker-owner of the Mississauga office, “but it should have been.”

“The views and opinions expressed in this piece do not reflect those of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada or our agents,” said Martysiewicz.

She said Ciastek will issue a public apology and make a donation to a local charity of the company’s choosing.

In his defense, Ciastek said, “I didn’t want to offend anybody. I didn’t have bad intentions.”

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