This week has been tumultuous for gay rights both locally and globally. With the world’s attention arriving in Sochi, Russia, after months of intense scrutiny around the government’s homophobic crackdown, many cities around the world raised rainbow flags to support the gay athletes heading to Russia and also show their solidarity with the gay people of Russia.
Here in Toronto we have, unfortunately, seen a bigotted renaissance at City Hall.
Rob Ford and his brother Doug have placed their ignorance front and centre with hurtful and cruel comments directed at the LGBT community of the city.
When asked if he would be attending the annual Pride festival, this year celebrating World Pride, Ford responded “I’m not going to go to the Pride Parade. I’ve never gone to a Pride Parade. I’m not going to change the way I am.”
Simple, hurtful, straight to the point. Rob Ford doesn’t care about gay people. Rob Ford isn’t going to Pride, not because he has a family tradition or because he isn’t feeling well. He is not going to one of the largest celebrations of gay rights in the world that takes place in a city he is the mayor of because he just doesn’t want to.
Doug followed it up by letting us know his brother isn’t homophobic, going so far as to drop the he-has-gay-friends line. He then went on to say that Pride is no place for families or children, wading into the territory of suggesting without saying that gay people are somehow shocking, gross, or otherwise perverse and should not be near children.
The cherry on the cake this week was Rob Ford’s ordering of the rainbow flag outside of City Hall to be removed because he thinks of it as somehow unpatriotic.
Gay people in Toronto, Canada, and around the world have come too far to be bullied by the likes of Ford; all of Toronto has to make sure Ford hears loud and clear that this is not okay by standing up against homophobia.
Show Rob Ford that a passion for gay rights is patriotic by pledging your support to the City Hall pride flag.