TORONTO, February 7, 2014 ( – As a number of Canadian cities protest Russia's ban on homosexual propaganda by flying rainbow flags outside their city hall, Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford put his foot down today demanding that a rainbow flag raised above Toronto City Hall be taken down.

“[The Olympics is] not about someone’s sexual preference,” Ford told reporters at City Hall today, according to the National Post. “No, I do not agree with putting up the rainbow flag. We should put up the Canadian flag.”

Reporters watched Ford as he walked outside to inspect a Canadian flag just hung in his office window.


“This is the Olympics,” he continued. “This is about being patriotic to your country. This is not about your sexual preference.”

When one reporter told Ford that the rainbow flag was meant as a sign of solidarity with Russian LGBT people, Ford replied: “Let Russia do what they want. We’re Canadians here.”

Russia’s recent laws protecting children from homosexual propaganda have received heavy criticism from many Westerners who condemn them as “anti-gay” and a violation of human rights. The laws make it illegal to distribute information on “non-traditional sexual concepts” to children.

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The flag remained flying despite Ford’s request to have it taken down. Councillor Anthony Perruzza told reporters that Ford had relented and agreed to have both the Pride and Canadian flag flying at City Hall, reported National Post.

Though Ford has refused to attend the city’s annual Gay Pride parade, last summer he was accused by family leaders of caving into the gay lobby after he attended his first Pride flag-raising ceremony over City Hall during the city’s annual Pride Week.

Ford read the city’s official proclamation prior to the flag-raising ceremony at that time, saying: “Pride Week is an opportunity to celebrate the harmony in which we co-exist and raise awareness about the barriers some individuals still face in the areas of health care, public safety, employment and the recognition of family relationships.”

The news of Ford’s opposition to the flag during the Olympics comes just days after he said at a candidates’ forum for the 2014 mayoral election that he would never attend a Pride parade.

“I’m not going to go to the Pride parade,” he said amidst catcalls. “I’ve never been to a Pride parade. I can’t change who I am.”

It was the first time that he has admitted that he stays away on principle. In previous years, he has said he could not attend because of a family tradition of spending that weekend at their cottage.


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