Toronto Mayor Rob Ford orders staff to take down rainbow flag outside city hall


TORONTO – Toronto’s controversial mayor has ordered city staff to take down a rainbow flag that was raised outside city hall Friday in support of gay and human rights as the Olympic Games begin in Sochi.

Rob Ford said he wants to see the Canadian flag raised instead.

“This is about the Olympics. This is about being patriotic to your country. This is not about someone’s sexual preference,” he said.

When told the gesture was meant to protest anti-gay laws in Russia, Ford replied: “Let Russia do what they want. We’re Canadians here.”

At least one city councillor agreed with the mayor.

“If the city of Toronto was to fly a flag, I believe it should be the Canadian flag or I think it should be the Olympic flag,” Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said.

“This should be about sport and about Canadians.”

Toronto is one of several Canadian cities — including Montreal, Ottawa and Edmonton — to fly the rainbow flag, a long-standing symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and pride.

Ford has previously come under fire for his staunch refusal to attend Toronto’s gay pride parade that marches through the downtown core each summer.

In the past, Ford had said his refusal to attend the event was due to a family tradition of spending the Canada Day long weekend at the cottage.

But when asked Thursday if he was planning to attend this year’s World Pride parade, Ford said: “I’ve never been to a pride parade. So I’m not going to change the way I am.”

The mayor’s remarks prompted criticism from the public and at least one fellow city councillor, who accused him of “thinly veiled homophobia.”

The mayor’s councillor brother, Doug Ford, denied that either he or his brother are homophobic. He said he felt uncomfortable bringing his kids to an event where “middle-aged men with pot bellies” ran down the street “buck naked.”

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford orders staff to take down rainbow flag outside city hall

  1. You’re too late….he’s changed his mind. Both flags will fly.

  2. “I’m not going to change the way I am.” Ford is just fine with being an alcoholic/drug addict homophic mayor of the largest city in Canada – thank you!

  3. Ford Rocks again, Mr Ford I am coming to work for you in next election. Gays, Lesbians, Prostitutes, Strippers, sex workers etc are not the symbol of a great nation to be proud of, Canada predominantly a Christian nation, no one can change that, we stand for natural order in life, families and sexual preferences, Gay is 1% we do respect their choices, but we do not advocate that, they do not produce offspring’s to run this nation, they can only recruit !!!

    • Religion poisons everything. Mostly minds.

      • Your bigotry is no better than Marian’s.

        • Religion poisons everything. Mostly minds

          • Ooh… caught in a loop! Warp core meltdown! Captain – I canna hold her together much longer!!!!

          • We noticed that. Take a vacation.

          • Twas you I was referring to. You’ve blown more than a few circuits. Where religion is concerned, your hatred blinds you to just about everything.

            It’s really quite amusing to watch the champion of freedoms and tolerance go off the rails whenever religion gets mentioned. Exactly what did your priest do to you?

          • You’re going around in circles Bram….take a few weeks off.

          • Lighten up – you go on the same way Dave does, given certain cues.

          • I dunno what yer problem is, but you have no reason to attack me.

          • You can attack anyone who dares disagree with you but the rest of us have to be polite. Why is that?

          • You have no reason to do so. You don’t bother with topics.

          • Why shouldn’t we, you are such an irritating windbag.

          • Knowledge bothers you eh?

          • Do people cross the street to avoid you?

          • over 13,000 postings and yet not a sign of anything other than a desperate need for attention. Up vote, down vote it doesn’t really matter.

          • Sorry, 5998 posts….says so right on the page. Although why it matters to you, I don’t know.

            Just another chance for you to spew hate I guess.

          • Beam her up then Scottie…beam er up before she blows a space gasket.

          • Making grand sweeping generalizations poisons everything. Including minds.

          • Over 2000 years of torture and war for a fairy tale proves it isn’t a fluke or generalization.

          • Neither is all the good done in Jesus’ name during those two millennia. But of course, all those “small” things like feeding others, caring for the sick and the needy, etc etc, don’t count in your book, do they?

          • Don’t need Jesus to do that. Sorry.

          • Don’t need Jesus to start a war or molest a child either – but you are always more than happy to lay the blame at His feet.

            It’s people who do these things – and if they didn’t have their religion to use as an excuse, then they’d find something else.

          • I’ve never met a christian….just a lot of miserable people who claim they are.

            I don’t ‘lay the blame’ at the feet of any myth…..only the fools that believe them

          • IAnd the world was just humming alone nicely before Christ’s teaching [ which amounted at core to, if you want people to be nice to you be nice to them] turned the world upside down, right?
            The mistake you make is to blame the singer and the song…instead of the dumb f**ks who chose to interpret as they saw fit and carry on as before anyway.

          • There were wars before Jesus….but a lot more afterwards, most of ’em religious. Along with inquisitions, stake burning and the like.

            PS ‘Do unto others’ wasn’t original with Jesus I’m afraid.

          • People have found other reasons to want to attack each over – it’s something about human nature. It’s too easy to just blame it all on religion.

          • Well you could try history.

          • You could try some social science.

          • Social science says nothing like that. History does.

          • You have become as tedious as the evangelicals on this subject – congratulations, it’s not a small task.

          • And again you have attacked me for no reason. Don’t you have a hobby?

          • Well you certainly attacked me with no reason. However, history shows most wars are over religion one way or the other.

          • ALWAYS enjoy your posts ( do not always agree)

            I REALLY enjoyed and appreciated that little saying (“Religion poisons….) You are SO ON TARGET..made my day…….hell.. made my week!

          • SMOOCH! Thank you!

            I wish I could claim credit for that saying, but it’s from a book by Christopher Hitchens ‘God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything’

          • You are WELCOME. The only problem ..when common sense and intelligence is displayed in a post (yours for example)
            It tends to give one “a hope’ for the human animal…..
            and that is ..in vain. These are only VERY RARE individuals.

          • I don’t know what I’ve done to get this kind of boost….but as someone who has often given up on the human race, and rarely sees any hope for them….if I’ve given you any kind of inspiration then I am beyond pleased.

      • Now, now. Let’s not jump to conclusions, here. She could have acquired brain injury.

        • LOL

    • Mr. Putin, Canada is a very different – and dare I say better – country than your Russia.

    • Is it Christian to do crack, get drunk and drive and lie about it …again and again and again?

      • Apparently, yes just like it’s also Christian to molest children and cover it up. Do as we say, not as we so is their motto, after all.

        • Now don’t go bringing the pope into this or we’ll be here all day.

          • I didn’t bring him into it. I just elaborated.

          • That’s fine then. On a blog post about Rob Ford a few split hairs wont go amiss.

          • That new pinko, commie pope – how did he get elected anyway?

          • Dunno…something about white smoke and a yellow brick road. I may have mixed that up a bit though.

          • Best comment I’ve seen in a long time!!!

    • You’ve just blown your chance to party with him.

    • Marian, far more than their sexual preferences, I look to a basic leveller: do they pay their taxes?

      Christians can work hard, pay their taxes and can raise big families. At the same time, their churches enjoy huge tax breaks that deny the government the revenue needed for things like the increased burden larger families place on health care.
      Gays can work hard, pay their taxes and will generally have small adopted families or no kids at all. The kids they adopt are in need, and if you think about it, adoption is a very Christian thing to do. The kids they don’t have cost the taxpayer zilch.
      There are a lot of churches (not just Christian ones) paying no taxes while enjoying every benefit our society has to offer. Gay people don’t cost much (they’re only 1% of the pop according to you) and are as deserving of our societal umbrella and open acceptance as anyone else. Is it not Christian to love they neighbour?

      Surely someone with a good eye for fiscal prudence, someone such as yourself, can see the common sense in that.

      One last thing: Don’t confuse gays with pedophiles (a common wedge). Pedophiles are criminals.
      Gay people are not.

    • Really??? But it’s okay for him to use crack cocaine, drink and drive and hang around with criminals while he’s Mayor of the biggest city of Canada?! It sounds rather hypocritical to me…..Just listen to him in one of his “drunken stupor” rants…not very Christian to me…

  4. Rob Ford doesn’t think the Toronto Civic government’s role is to advance gay rights worldwide?
    What a ‘scandal’.

    • Care to tell us what the official Harper govt line is on that Biffer?

      • How many reasons to count…there are so many. Firstly, the issue is about Russia. The Feds have exclusive jurisdiction to deal with international matters. Should the city of Toronto now get involved with Tibet religious rights? Perhaps fly a monks flag? City’s just don’t do that, no matter how hip the issue is. Civic governments generally don’t pick causes to advance. There are untold advocacy groups for gay rights, the City of Toronto isn’t one of them. Do you know how many rights based or special interest causes there are in this country? Teaser: a lot. Should Toronto fly a flag in support of mothers against drunk drivers? How amount mental health awareness? Do you know how many people suffer from mental health in Canada? Kind of a big deal.
        The reality is, this is another cheap attempt by the media to flog their whipping boy and once again shows that, while Rob Ford has demons to overcome, the media’s demons continue unabated.

    • Because there are no gay Canadian athletes?

    • No, he thinks supporting Putin is. Strange bedfellows, as they say.

  5. Ford is maintaining natural order and dignity, a lot to learn about this great Mayor. Good Luck and God bless Mayor Ford.

    • You do realize you are breaking Jesus’ commandment to love thy neighbour as thyself? There are no asterisks there; no exclusionary clauses.

      • Tsk. Your bigotry is no better than Marian’s.

        • What bigotry? Just suggesting she actually follow the beliefs she professes.

          • Merely quoting you, m’dear

          • Yes. The difference being, you were being bigoted.

          • Look up the word ‘bigot’.

            I am not required to like or be tolerant of stupidity.

          • big·ot (bĭg′ət)
            One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. (Emphasis added)

            Happy now Ms Atheist?

          • I believe I just said that, but I’m glad you did what you were told.

          • You admitted to being a bigot? I took what you said as a denial; sorry to have misunderstood.

          • ‘I am not required to like or be tolerant of stupidity.’

            I’ve told you before that you misread everything, and yet I was very clear.

          • Yes – that is a bigoted comment. Quite clear. You are being intolerant of those who differ from your religious views (you have none and are intolerant of anyone who expresses any).

            Now I suppose you are going to argue that the definition somehow doesn’t mean what it says on its face, or has an “unless one’s name is Emily” clause?

          • I’m intolerant of stupidity. You display it all the time.

          • Then I guess we have a lot in common after all.

          • No, I grew up.

          • AHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

      • Yeah but Jesus didn’t like gays either…so they tell me. I suspect he wasn’t exactly for treating them like something yucky on the bottom of his sandal though either. Nor would he have give a pass to those who think it’s wrong to be gay, but ok to lie about hanging out with criminals and drug dealers.

        • Jesus himself was remarkably silent on the issue. Paul is another story. Given all the other societal rejects Jesus welcomed into the fold, I’d be inclined to think, had they ever met, he would have told Paul to stuff a sandal in it.

          • lol…
            More likely he would have MADE Paul stuff a sandal into it. Any guy who can walk on water and comeback after being three day dead is someone to be reckoned with.

          • I assume you mean his mouth…

        • Jesus said nothing whatever about either gays or abortion….and Jesus is the only one you’re supposed to be listening to.

          • Actually E Jesus said he came to fulfill the law. He was talking about the law as laid out in the OT also. So it isn’t simply a matter of separating out what he said and what the whole of Christian Judeo law says. Although there remains a lot of debate about this still.
            I’m not making an argument either way, but i think it’s a little more nuanced than just saying Jesus said this or not.

          • And as i said he also said i come to fulfill the law – what came before him. It’s not an argument you can sort out on a blog post. Scholars are still arguing about what he represented. Who he said he was. But he definitively did not say you can chuck that other book in the garbage now.
            In any case i like what the new pope’s approach. Away with the moralizing, condemning and lecturing. Which when you consider the way the church has actually behaved over the years is a refreshing change.

          • Christians only go by what Jesus said. The old testament is the Jewish talmud. Yes, you can chuck it.

            The pope SAYS a lot of things…..hasn’t done anything though.

          • Christians only go by what Jesus said.~

            You know a lot of Christians do you? That’s just a very silly thing to say.

          • Well christians don’t go by what hindus, muslims and jews say.

          • If only that were true! Most of the Christians who do the kinds of things you tar and feather us all for tend to have too heavy a reliance on the OT and use it extensively to justify their rather non-Christian behaviour.

          • “Christians only go by what Jesus said. The old testament is the Jewish talmud.”
            Have you advised the Catholics of this because the Catholic bible is made of 46 books from the old testament and 27 from the new testament.
            Check it out in YOUR bible, Wiki. Emily why do you speak of things that you know nothing about???

          • Yes, we all know that….it’s the same with the protestants. However CHRISTians are only supposed to be paying attention to the actual words of Jesus……not all the other add-ons.

            I don’t own a bible. Most people don’t you know.

          • “…CHRISTians are only supposed to….”
            Emily, Christians are people who believe that Christ existed…hence the name. They believe Christ was the son of God. They don’t only believe in the words of Christ. Obviously they believe in Psalm 23 from the Old Testament…Yea though I walk through I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thy sword and thy staff they….
            By the way, it is is the Torah that is the 5 first books of the Hebrew bible which is the old testament. You really should do some research before try to educate others.

          • What they ‘believe’, and what they are supposed to believe may be 2 different things to SOME people…..but the words of their founder …Jesus…are the only relevant teaching.

            Christians don’t begin to believe all that muck in the OT…and happily munch on shrimp and pork. They don’t do a lot of stoning either, especially of their kids. Some are just drawn to the smiting bits. It’s an illness….religious insanity.

            ‘Torah: the central concept in the Judaic tradition. It has a range of meanings: it can most specifically mean the first five books of the Tanakh, it can mean this plus the rabbinic commentaries on it, it can mean the continued narrative from Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, it can even mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice.[1] Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the foundational narrative of the Jewish people: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, and their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of religious obligations and civil laws’

            I’m very familiar with the bible, dude….so don’t bother trying to tell me about it.

    • Dignity? Is that a translation error?

      • Isn’t that his official title?…His Dignity Rob Ford?

        • It might rhyme with something like that…lol

    • So I guess you feel Mayor Ford was maintaining natural order and dignity when he was stuffing coke up his nose, lying about it, hanging around with known criminals, and who knows what else … all while in a drunken stupor…

      • As long as he is not kissing another guy…

    • I am pretty sure if God did not like gay people, He would not have created them in the first place.

      • Hahaha! Good one!

  6. I fully support the mayors stand on the subject, as does everyone I am talking to about it, even my proud friends. Its one thing to be gay but there are perverts in all of society, gays should not alloy their dignity to be compromised with allowing; like the mayor’s brother talks of; “He said he felt uncomfortable bringing his kids to an event where “middle-aged men with pot bellies” ran down the street “buck naked.”” OK this is infringing on illegal activity. Non gays would be arrested, is this ok in the gay community? If gays want my respect they have to stay within the guidelines of what overall society finds legal. The Olympics are about sport. Passive aggressive activities such as the flag issue must be stopped. We don’t condone the aggressive terrorist activity to use the Olympics as a platform to further their cause and neither should we allow the rainbow flag issue to covertly press their cause. The mayor may be pressured by the loud minority to allow the issue to follow on but his original take is the correct idea. The Olympics is a neutral organization. Shame on the opportunists.

    • Next you’ll be looking to ban Skittles because they ask you to “taste the rainbow”

      • typical childish response from the uninformed. Read what I said and ponder it fully. Don’t shove the issue down every ones throat. It’s the Olympics. You may have had my respect, do not sway me with your ignorance.

        • GFMD – why were you going by “bob” on the first post? Or is Disqus having display issues again?

          Putin expects the world to come to Russia – yet he wants us to bend to his homophobic rules. It’s hardly terrorism to tell him we don’t accept that. It’s called peaceful demonstration. There IS a difference. So yes, I feel entitled to mock when people compare flying a flag to terrorism.

          • I expect this is a disqus display issue. try refreshing or closing the browser and opening it up again.

          • not sure what you see; it’s “bob”
            you miss the point, it’s a literate parallel not a comparison.
            don’t be shallow in your thinking, I won’t go into philosophical jurisdiction and teachings on the subject.
            its the Olympics. The boundaries of it need to be respected.
            I do appreciate the intent of the being the ‘grinding bearing”, I’ll oil a squeaky wheel so to say. I point out; this is The Olympics. Focus on the intent of the games. I’ll also point out that Putin has compromised the Soviet tolerance on the issue already and I suggest that it will difficult for the soviets to go back.
            Its time to fly the Olympic flag.

          • “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the
            possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and
            in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit
            of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

            Russia is not exactly living up to this. No openly gay Russian athletes can compete. Anyone who is too overt in showing their solidarity in Russia is potentially endangering their own freedom (despite Russia’s assurances; they will likely tolerate only so much) and/or, if an athlete, risking the ire of the International Olympic Committee.

            The IOC is failing to enforce its own stated principle because in order to do so they would have had to cancel the games. Flying the rainbow flag is not just a message to Putin; it is a reminder to the IOC of their own stated principles, which they are compromising.

          • ok we’re in an class and out of time, studies in “Modern World Problems” We, a class of mixed affiliations are in majority feelling that you don’t not make a good case for their support. Neither the other discussions posted on the subject today as well. FYI the subject wasn’t so much the flag issue but how people respond, the depth of their responses and typical participants. Enjoy the day.

          • Anyone wanna take a stab at translating that into English?

          • I’m sure he’s talking about human rights but some of the words appear to be in the wrong order.

          • Ha nice try. You’re trying to firefight cause you got burnt

          • The Soviets?? Bob it’s 2014. The Soviet Union ended in 1991.

            Time to wake up Rip Van Winkle

    • He’s just pandering for your vote, Bob. Try not to feel used.

      • I don’t live in Toronto
        Is that all you have?
        Are you in a bar three beers into the south?

        • Bob, it’s hard to argue against someone taking an irrational point as you have

    • the biggest opportunist in this is his rotundness. all this attention going on in russia and nobody was looking at his pink, crack addled baby face. raise a stink, rally the legion of morons like yourself.

    • Bob, Bob, Bob

    • Bob hates flags.

  7. I’m not even sure that’s thinly veiled? How much more paggro can you get?

  8. “When told the gesture was meant to protest anti-gay laws in Russia, Ford
    replied: “Let Russia do what they want. We’re Canadians here.”

    If Ford’s IQ drops any more they may have to plant and water him on a daily basis.

  9. Kudos to Bell Canada. They running a commercial which shows numbers of shots of people watching the Olympics on various devices. One is of a pair of men sitting on a couch watching tv and embracing when they see somebody winning.

  10. Send a real message to the Russians. Permanently, change the flag of Canada from the Maple Leaf to the Rainbow Flag. Whats the big deal with a stupid leaf? Wouldn’t the rainbow flag be more appropriate? Here’s an ianother dea declare war on Russia. If Putin’s actions really concern you so much why are you settling for mere chitchat? Do you think that Putin really cares about what you say? You want results be more forceful.Insist that Harper call for NATO troops(with Canadian forces in the forefront) to threaten an invasion of eastern Russia from Canada and Alaska. You could seize the important Russian mines and gas fields in Siberia and force Putin’s hands. The Russian military is in lousy shape. You talk to Putin and he ignores you. You take action and he has to deal with you.

  11. Why would anyone take their kids to a pride parade. a bunch of gyrating jock straps groping each other and scary looking men in assless chaps and Nazi hats. It’s not a way to inspire respect.

    • Sounds like you learned from experience

  12. Take the flag down! This is about country and pride of sports not a group of people that believe they have more rights then the rest of Canadians. We all have are differences race colour religion sexual preference and country rules! The olmipics has no prejudice all will compete no mater who they are or what they think this is about how good they are… Just because a country has there standards like when you can drive when you can get married when you can go on strike doesn’t mean anouther country should impose there belief or rights on another country’s

    • Alright who let the guy on mushrooms get online?

    • Agree while being a supporter of gay rights I do not feel they or any other special interest group should push an agenda on other Canadians and the rest of the world. Following their logic speed skater Cindy Klassen was one of the top Canadian Olympians of all time but is very open about her Christianity and is a member of a Mennonite church. Mennonite Church Canada has a flag a dove imposed on a blue background promoting the peace loving aspect of the church.A positive message to be sure but could you imagine the outrage from the hypocritical gay rights advocates if that flag was flown on any city hall.

  13. This Ford guy needs to be kicked out of Canada, better yet exile him here to the USA so he can run for President. See we need more, less cowardly politicians that will not bow to the Godless Sodomites.

  14. Buck naked? Iphone them, then make a citizens arrest for public indecency.

  15. For many years South Africa was not permitted to compete in the Olympics because of apartheid. Anyone who thinks the Olympics are apolitical and/or have nothing to do with human rights seems to forget this little fact.

    The fact that some countries continue to discriminate against gays is the very reason why those of us who do not (at least not legally – I cannot speak for the thoughts and feelings of the members of Ford Nation) must show those countries that we disagree with them. Flying a flag is a small but significant way to do that.

    I will also take this opportunity to note how proud I am that my city, here in the heartland of “redneck” Alberta, is flying the flag. I must say I am amused by the fact the Center of the Universe elected Rob Ford…

    • Gayle, are you actually standing up for Alberta?

      • Yes, and in particular, Edmonton. Although Calgary does a pretty good job on this front too.

        • Yes, I would say Mayor Nenshi is progressive and has always been so. However, funnily enough Alberta gets a very bad rep on Macleans.

  16. Isn’t middle aged men with pot bellies running around buck naked exactly what his kids are going be seeing at the cottage but they’ll be drunk and high too?

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