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TORONTO, Ontario, June 30, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been slammed in the city’s media all week for his decision not to attend Sunday’s annual Pride parade and the related events.

“My family comes first,” says Ford, explaining that they have a 30-year tradition of spending Canada Day weekend at their cottage in Huntsville.  “I’m carrying on a tradition my father had, last year I was there during the campaign, we’re there every year.”

For the last week, there has been an unending slew of news articles, columns, and editorials in media such as the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail, all seemingly aimed at pressuring Ford to back down and show up for the parade.

This morning, the Toronto Star reports that NOW Magazine has even offered to pay $4,000 for a private jet to fly him in for the parade and then back to the cottage.  “C’mon, Rob, there really is no excuse,” writes NOW editor Michael Hollett.

But my question is: Why should he go?

He has a perfectly sensible reason not to attend: a long-time family tradition that takes him hours out of the city.  Let’s also not pretend that he is “skipping” the parade, as many have, somehow implying a non-existent job expectation that he be there.

The real issue here is that people see a hidden or unstated motive behind his decision, given his past actions and remarks opposed to same-sex “marriage” and government funding of Pride.

The media is trying to force him to say outright that he does not support Pride or what it stands for.  We can only imagine the vitriol they would throw at him then.

But really, why should it be controversial to oppose Pride?  Though organizers have tried to paint it as “family-friendly,” the annual “sex parade,” as it has come to be known by many, is infamous for its (often illegal) public displays of full nudity, sado-masochistic attire, and public sex acts.

Former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman indicated the absurdity of it all when he told the National Post that while he had participated during his years as mayor, despite fears that he would be “bombarded” and “embarrassed,” he “could never get used to” “the two guys walking in front of me with their bare asses sticking out.”

Lastman was right to worry about embarrassment.  In any sane society, it would not only be thought an embarrassment but a scandal for a politician to be caught in such a circumstance.

Toronto Star columnist Bob Hepburn claims Ford’s planned absence “has shown that his Toronto doesn’t include all Torontonians.”

But clearly the mayor’s absence at the events of any special interest group does not inherently bespeak his desire to exclude that group.  Toronto pro-lifers never claim to be ‘excluded’ when the mayor misses their rallies, and nobody accused Ford of excluding radical feminists by not marching in those crazy ‘slut walks’ earlier this year.

Globe and Mail columnist Marcus Gee accuses Ford of “legitimizing hate,” “giv[ing] bigots cover to spew their bile,” and “emboldening the city’s haters.”  Gee says it is important for public officials to join Pride because “they are sending a powerful message that homophobia is not tolerated in our city.”

As evidence of the “hate” Ford has inspired, Gee cites examples of online commenters applauding the mayor’s decision and affirming their belief in the inherently disordered nature of the homosexual inclination.

I’ll gladly join the ranks.  Lock me up for “hate speech” along with the rest.

Obviously I do not necessarily endorse all the comments, or the language used.  I firmly believe that homosexuals are endowed with dignity, and deserve compassion, respect, and acceptance.

But Gee and other commentators are making the perennial error of homosexual advocates that conflates acceptance of and respect for homosexual persons with acceptance of their behavior.

Toronto’s lewd Pride parade is not about inclusion of homosexual persons – it is about promoting acceptance of public nakedness, promiscuity, and aberrant sexual behavior that is dangerous both morally and physically.

The most compassionate response to a person caught up in dangerous activities is to show them their error and help them overcome it – not to confirm them in error, never mind to promote it as safe and normal.

And that’s exactly what Ford would be doing if he showed up for Pride.

Patrick Craine is Canadian Bureau Chief for LifeSiteNews.com.  He lives with his wife and two children in East Chezzetcook, NS.

Ford Contact info:

Mayor Rob Ford
Office of the Mayor
Toronto City Hall,
2nd Floor
100 Queen St. West
Toronto ON
M5H 2N2
Phone: 416-397-FORD (3673)
E-mail: [email protected]

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