For three days in a row, the political horror show known as Doug and Rob Ford has been exploiting homophobia in all its multiple hate-mongering facets to further ingratiate themselves with their bigoted fans and followers.
On Wednesday at the first mayoral candidates' forum of the 2014 Toronto municipal election, Mayor Mascot made a point of disclosing that his non-attendance at Toronto Pride is a personal and political boycott.
“I’m not going to go to Pride Parade. I’ve never gone to a Pride Parade so I’m not going to change the way I am,” Ford said.
On Thursday at City Hall, his brother Doug defended his brother's position by attacking the Pride Parade. In a four minute tirade about the event, he said five times that seeing "buck naked men" was disturbing.
In response to Ford's putative not-homophobic screed, Kristyn Wong-Tam who represents the ward that includes Church-Wellesley, and a blatant non-heterosexual councillor said:
On Friday this happened.
Doug Ford [seems] to be doing “a bit of baiting,” possibly to “appeal to a homophobic base within his supporters.”
She said Pride is “so much more than just a handful of people who decide to express themselves in ways that not everyone would understand.” Referring to the mayor’s own controversial behaviour, she said his administration is not in a position to criticize the morality of others.
“Should the morality police descend on the mayor’s office or the mayor’s home, they may have something to say about public drunken stupors and behaviour, crack cocaine use, the allegations of domestic assault (a charge against Rob Ford was dropped in 2008), marijuana and hash dealing (Doug Ford has denied a Globe report that he was a dealer in the 1980s), improper use of city resources, drunken outrage, public urination, cultural appropriation of a Jamaican accent. I would imagine that it’s best not to judge,” Wong-Tam said.
Doug Ford has used such rhetoric before. In opposing a city hall bike station with public showers, he said the facility would turn into a “bathhouse” involving “hanky-panky” and “a towel boy handing out towels.”
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford appears to have lost a fight to remove a rainbow flag flying at city hall.
The flag, an international symbol of gay rights, went up on one of the many flagpoles outside city hall on Friday, just as the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games were underway in Russia.
The flag-raising was meant as a response to Olympic host country Russia's anti-gay laws. Several other municipalities around Canada have done the same.
Ford wanted it taken down as soon as he saw it.
The Olympics, "is about being patriotic to your country, this is not about someone's sexual preference," he told reporters.
But it's not his decision to have the flag taken down. The city's protocol officer is the only one who decides what flags fly from the city hall`s "courtesy" pole. That pole hosts all sorts of flags during the year — for autism week, fair trade, and to honour the national days of dozens of countries, from Azerbaijan to Israel. The Canadian flag is always flying on several other poles around city hall.
My co-blogger Fern Hill went looking for news items about rainbow flags flying in other Canadian cities; she also discovered what hisser means in French. Which led her to craft these bilingual bon mots:
Check out the LOVESOCHi campaign in support of gay rights — and its magnificent photos — on Twitter.