TORONTO -- Ontario's largest Catholic school board has added the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression" to its code of conduct.

Trustees of the Toronto Catholic District School Board made the decision at the end of an occasionally heated Thursday meeting that stretched into the early hours of Friday.

The code now requires that staff, students, parents and trustees "respect and treat others fairly" regardless of "gender identity, gender expression, marital status (or) family status."

It specifies that the policy "is interpreted through the lens of the Catholic faith."

The new language, which had been the subject of months of debate, was approved ahead of this week's meeting by the Archdiocese of Toronto.

The motion passed eight to four after trustees heard arguments from parents and members of the public on both sides of the debate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2019.