Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford demands City Hall remove rainbow flag

Toronto’s embattled mayor, Rob Ford, has stepped in it again.  This time, Ford reportedly “went on a rampage” after he saw that Toronto’s city hall had raised the gay flag, presumably in solidarity with gay Russians, and overall gay people, on this first day of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

“This is the Olympics,” the local paper, Globe and Mail, reported.  “This is about being patriotic to your country. This is not about sexual preference.”

Ford was referring to ongoing protests against the Russian government holding the Olympic games at a time in which President Putin is cracking down on gay and trans people in that country.


Coincidentally, Ford was joined in his “take down that flag” outrage by the Russian government, which arrested numerous gay rights protesters in Moscow’s Red Square today for waving – wait for it – the rainbow flag.


Gay rights protesters are arrested in Moscow’s Red Square on February 7, 2014 for waving the rainbow flag, and singing the Russian national anthem, on the opening day of the Winter Olympics.

But after the intervention of a local city council member, Ford finally agreed to fly both the Canadian and the gay flags.

Ford made waves earlier this week when he said he wouldn’t attend the city’s gay Pride parade.

“I’ve never gone to a Pride parade,” Ford said. “So I’m not going to change the way I am.”

But rest assured, oh gays, Rob Ford has lots of gay friends. His brother even said so:

Mr. Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, defended the mayor’s decision, saying his brother isn’t homophobic and has gay friends.

And Ford seemed like such a nice man.


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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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39 Responses to “Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford demands City Hall remove rainbow flag”

  1. Hue-Man says:

    “”The bottom line is, again, this is about the Olympics, this is about supporting our athletes,” said Ford outside his office on Tuesday [today].

    “I’ve done everything I can to get the Canadian flag back up,” he said.”

    “Ford has posted a Canadian flag in the window of his office as gesture against the rainbow flag.”

    Inconvenient fact: “There is currently a Canadian flag flying at Toronto City Hall, as is required by the city’s flag protocols. The rainbow flag is flying to the east of the clamshell-like building, where an auxiliary Canadian flag usually flies. Community groups can request to have flags raised on that
    pole from time-to-time.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/rob-ford-continues-protest-against-rainbow-flag-at-city-hall-1.2532600

    But don’t forget Ford does not hate gays and lesbians – he’s just being a super-patriotic Canadian.

  2. Nathanael says:

    Doug Ford may not have *had* to work, but he was apparently a hard-working drug dealer in his youth, and made a point of beating up addicts who didn’t pay. According to the last newspaper report I read.

    Um — yeah. So.

  3. Nathanael says:

    The correct form of address for Rob Ford is “Crack-Smoking Mayor Rob Ford”. An alternative form which is accepted is “Mayor-in-Name-Only Rob Ford”. Please correct the headline. ;-)

  4. lynchie says:

    I think he doubles down on poutine. French fries, good beef gravy and cheese curd. Nice artery blocking diet food.

  5. lynchie says:

    Yeah my sister lives in Montreal and said a survey she read in the paper said he would get re-elected mayor. You can’t fix stupid and we in america are heading the same way. Electing incompetent, creationist assholes who don’t care what the majority wants but want every one to live under their rules and laws.

  6. 4th Turning says:

    All I know is there are a lot of good people out here working as hard as
    they can to hold things together who deserve much better.

  7. Ninja0980 says:

    That’s what happened in 2010. If the Democratic base repeats the same mistake again in 2014, they have NO right to complain when the Repubican party pushes the far right agenda.

  8. Ryan P says:

    Rob Ford needs to take a long walk off a short dock.

  9. MyrddinWilt says:

    Christie still has support from his party.

    But not so strong this week than a month ago.

  10. 4th Turning says:

    Thought of your comment today when I ran across this link
    which I hope will post ok. If it doesn’t, google Pat Roberts questioning
    Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General. (Another in your face Obama
    appointment.) By the way, I live in a rural area down south-almost no
    Asians or Indians (or “Pakis”) we can claim. We do have a sizeable
    Mexican crowd, but other than myself and one other couple (we are
    frothing at the mouth democrats so don’t count) I haven’t ever run
    across any locals boasting a connection. Which is too bad as I really
    treasure my amigos. They still marvel that I can find Mexico on a
    map and know how to say thank you in Spanish.


  11. MyrddinWilt says:

    His own party disowned him months ago. He has no support from any group and the only action he can still perform in the role of Mayor is to draw his salary.

    James Curley managed to get re-elected Mayor of Boston while in jail serving a prison sentence. But he never lost the support of his party.

  12. ChrisDC says:

    If you could hand pick the opposition’s spokesperson in a debate, having this nutcase show up would be a dream you would not dare to dream.

  13. karmanot says:

    And the leaf-blower they played baseball with.

  14. AnthonyLook says:

    In a way it’s somewhat a relief, the right winger is out of the bag; he’s one of them, a Conservative, bigoted, fill in the rest of the blanks….

  15. karmanot says:

    “—-underlying psychiatric problems”: mostly mayonnaise egg salad sandwiches and hot fudge sundays.

  16. karmanot says:

    Another comedy at Toad Hall.

  17. BillFromDover says:

    “So I’m not going to change the way I am.”

    Well… hello!

  18. lynchie says:

    Another hateful, violent bully who has no tolerance for anyone who disagrees. A Canadian version of Chris Christie. Use his position as a bludgeon. He thinks he is king and his opinion is the only one that matters. Sad to say the Canadian right are made up of the same uneducated, dull racists and homophobes who make up our tea party and republican base.

  19. Hue-Man says:

    Local TV news covered the mayor raising the rainbow flag at City Hall. A google search indicates that every major city in the country is doing the same thing – I know it’s symbolic but not insignificant. Here’s one hopeful example from the province of New Brunswick:

    “Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside requested the pride flag to be flying outside Fredericton City Hall on Friday.”

    “Online there have been messages against the flag raising, with comments that say issues like this shouldn’t be taken on by cities and town.

    Mayor Woodside says he may have agreed with that in the 90’s, when he refused to proclaim Gay Pride Week, but he has since participated in the Gay Pride Parade.

    “A lot of things I thought 25 years ago I don’t feel the same about now,” explains Mayor Woodside. “I think that’s just the process you go through in maturing and growing up.”” http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/rainbow-flags-raised-at-city-halls-across-the-maritimes-1.1676266

  20. Hue-Man says:

    Robyn Doolittle, Toronto Star reporter who worked on the Ford crack-smoking investigation last year, was on The Daily Show last night promoting her book “Crazy Town”. Jon Stewart’s response to her understanding of how the Ford family sees itself: “Stewart jokingly replied that the Fords might think about themselves as
    the Canadian version of the Kennedy family, “if the Kennedys had all
    smoked crack.”” http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/jon-stewart-fords-akin-to-kennedy-clan-if-the-kennedys-had-all-smoked-crack-1.1674999

    The father built a multi-million dollar business that has financed the Ford kids’ drug and alcohol addictions. It doesn’t compare to the Kennedy wealth but means that none of them has ever had to work a day in their lives. They firmly believe that they are uniquely qualified to lead because they know everything better than everyone one. The word megalomania leaps to mind.

    The Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is a personal friend of the family; I’m sure he and others have tried to persuade Ford to get treatment but he continues to deny that he has any self-control problems. We know the usual outcome of that denial.

  21. 4th Turning says:

    “there is a chance he could be re-elected with as little as 30 percent support because the moderates always split the vote.”

    Hope you don’t mind. Felt like your words needed to be repeated.
    My sense is that Democrats will likely lose (throw away?) the Senate for exactly the same reason. In my state the “all-or I’m taking my ball and going
    home” bunch deserted a pretty good ship allowing the tea party to take over.
    500,000 adrift with no hope of health ins. tops my list of tragic consequences.

  22. Anonymous says:

    He’s a clown. Does he really think he’s an actual leader?

  23. quax says:

    Big child man seems to be rather insecure in his manliness.

  24. SkippyFlipjack says:

    I’m pretty sure that what flag and when to fly it are the only powers that Ford has anymore, and they’re still subject to a majority city council vote.

  25. Henry Owen says:

    I thought this cracker only “cracked down” on crack cocaine.

  26. Aaron_000 says:

    Toronto’s city manager, Joe Pennachetti, sent a letter today to city councillors, stating among other things, that Mayor Ford does not have the authority to order the flag removed. The Pride flag will continue to fly outside Toronto city hall until the end of the Olympics along with the Canadian flag.

  27. Thom Allen says:

    **CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP*** I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS seek out the most repulsive, loudmouthed, stupid, addicted homophobes to befriend just to give them that one gay friend that makes them feel politically correct. Of course, I DO charge more if they want a photo op . . .

  28. Thom Allen says:

    If he lived in the US, the Republicons would be pushing him to run for president in the next election.
    Amazing that he doesn’t seem to have even a shred of self-control. I wonder if that’s from his drug addiction, underlying psychiatric problems or both?

  29. HolyMoly says:

    Well, you know, back in the 1800s every single slave owner could always point to the black child they befriended when they were young. And they still maintained a “special” relationship with that black individual into adulthood. Don’t let the blur of a whip flying through the air obscure your view of the special “bond” (pun unintentional but apropos) these two had.

  30. NiceMugShot says:

    His anti-gay stance is not a major pillar for his hard core base, it does have appeal to a segment, but his populist rhetoric and unaddressed fiscal lies are what congeal the Ford “nation” weirdos to him. He was swept in on the discontent created by a recession that his deregulatory ideology created in the first place. The irony. His base are counter-intuitively largely the poor and uneducated, hence his constant references to the “elite” attack on “the people”. This is a guy who is heir to his daddy’s 100 million a year business and who opposes public healthcare – the one thing that keeps many of his fans from abject poverty. Again, the irony. The media has done a poor job exposing these contradictions. That’s where volunteer led leaflets and social media have to come in to play or, as you suggest, there is a chance he could be re-elected with as little as 30 percent support because the moderates always split the vote. That too has to be addressed by frontrunners who care about the city first and foremost. Personal political sacrifices have to be made.

  31. sane37 says:

    Don’t forget their “asian” friend

  32. nicho says:

    But failing that, the same right-wing numbskulls who put him in office will vote for him again. Conservatives are just that stupid.

  33. cole3244 says:

    ford has done it now, before he was just a buffoon with a substance problem now he is a mean spirited bigot that hates, the clock is running mayor time for you to run, fast.

  34. NiceMugShot says:

    He has been divested of almost all of his powers by council, but Toronto has no recall legislation so he is still technically mayor. He can be removed if he is convicted of a crime…Stay tuned.

  35. Badgerite says:

    Yeah, but, how come he’s still mayor?

  36. 4th Turning says:

    The absolute creepiest are them that “loves” all us doomed sinners.
    (Same crowd has at least one black “best friend”, too?)

  37. nicho says:

    I’m pretty sure that his crack dealer is gay.

  38. Bose says:

    Adorable — cracking down on the rainbow flag before lighting the crack up over the weekend!

  39. jomicur says:

    I’m constantly amazed that every anti-LGBT bigot in the world, every single one of them, has a lot of gay friends. What better proof could there be that anti-gay bigots don’t hate gay people? I think it’s time to show the world just how much we love our bigoted friends! Could all of the gay readers out there who have loving bigots for friends please applaud now? … … …

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