Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he’ll never attend Pride parade: ‘I’m not going to change the way I am’
TORONTO, February 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the city of Toronto prepares to host World Pride this June, the city’s mayor has stated that on principle he will not be attending.
“I’m not going to go to the Pride parade,” Mayor Rob Ford said at a candidates’ forum for the 2014 mayoral election Wednesday. Amidst catcalls, he continued: “I’ve never been to a Pride parade. I can’t change who I am.”
While Ford has never attended a pride parade in all his years as mayor, this is 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.
Councillor Shelley Carroll accused the mayor of “thinly veiled homophobia” for avoiding Pride and compared him to Russian president Vladimir Putin, calling the mayor’s refusal “an international problem.”
“It’s very similar to the embarrassment that Putin is causing his nation and the international hatred towards him,” she said, reported the National Post.
Ford’s brother Doug came to his brother’s defense Thursday, 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.
He added, however, that he would happily attend if Pride participants wore appropriate clothing.
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Doug Ford’s frankness about Pride mimicked comments by former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman, who said — while participating in the parades during his years as mayor — that he “could never get used to … the two guys walking in front of me with their bare a**es sticking out.”
Last summer Mayor Ford 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.”
Homosexual supporters speculated that Ford attended the flag-raising in view of winning support for this year’s election.
Pride parades, billed as “family-friendly,” have been known to include public nudity, imitation and real sex acts, as well as sado-masochistic get-up.
While Rob Ford has been spotlighted in the past months for an alleged drug addiction, public drunkenness, and blowing his cool in public, conservative critics have accused the mainstream media at the same time of doing its best to drag the mayor through the gutter in an undisguised attempt to destroy his reputation.
Toronto’s 2010 mayoral race saw Ford running what mainstream media thought was a neck-in-neck race against the openly gay George Smitherman. Life and family leaders credited Ford’s whopping victory to his, at the time, unapologetic stance for traditional family values.
Ford dodged media attempts at that time to paint him as ‘anti-gay’ by stating his beliefs clearly: “I support traditional marriage. I always have. … I’m not worried about what people do in their private life. I look out for taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Mayoral hopeful David Soknacki said he would have no problem marching in the parade.
“As long as I get a Super Soaker, I’ll be happy to be part of Pride,” he said at the Wednesday candidates’ forum.