TORONTO, February 19, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford reiterated his opposition to flying a rainbow flag at city hall during the Sochi Olympics in a segment Tuesday for his Ford Nation show on YouTube.
Ford had demanded the flag be removed February 7, but appeared to relent at the time.
In his video Tuesday, Ford said he was responding to an email from a woman asking if he wants to be re-elected and if so why he does not “support all citizens.” The woman labeled him “homophobic” for not attending Toronto's Pride parade and not wanting a rainbow flag at city hall to protest Russia's ban on homosexual propaganda targeting children. “My son is gay and as a mom that hurts me very deeply,” the woman wrote.
“So, we've had a little bit of controversy – I don't think it's a controversial issue, but,” Ford said before reading the email from “Mary in Scarborough.”
“Well Mary,” Ford said, “this has nothing to do – we're talking about the flag at city hall – this is about the Olympics, this is about supporting our athletes, this is not about your sexual preference.”
“I support our athletes, I support the people that trained for four years to go to Sochi in Russia, and there's no reason, no reason that I see that we should be putting up the pride flag during the Olympics,” he continued.
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“This is about being patriotic to our country,” Ford said. “I am not homophobic. I will go to anyone’s house, anyone’s place, to help them out. I take offence when people say that to me. This is Canada, our Canadian flag should be up there, not the pride flag.”
His brother Doug Ford, who co-hosts the show, said that callers to the mayor’s office are not asked if they are gay or straight in order to get the mayor’s attention.
“You know how many gay friends that we have? People that have worked on our campaign?” said Doug. “So you may want to try to bully us into things, but — that’s how I feel sometimes, Rob. I feel like I’ve been bullied into something.”
“Don’t try to put a gun to anyone’s head that disagrees with you. It doesn’t mean that they hate gays. It’s just a bunch of bullying, a bunch of bullies coming after you.”
Earlier this month Mayor Ford also reiterated that he will not attend this year's Pride parade. But in a departure from previous years, when he blamed his absence on a family tradition of spending that weekend at their cottage, Ford said he avoids the event on principle.
“I’m not going to go to the pride parade,” Ford said at a candidates’ forum for the 2014 mayoral election on February 5th. Amidst catcalls, he continued: “I’ve never been to a pride parade. I can’t change who I am.”
His brother Doug came to Rob’s defense, saying that he himself does not want to see “buck naked men running down the street.”
“I spoke to some folks in the gay community and they said they weren’t going because they didn’t like the idea of men running, middle aged men with pot bellies, running down the street buck naked,” Doug Ford said.