Reaction Roundup: the nine top responses to Rob Ford’s refusal to attend Toronto’s World Pride event


“I’m not going to go to the Pride parade. I’ve never gone to a Pride parade. So I’m not going to change the way I am.” Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto



“[Rob Ford] is not homophobic...You know what’s ironic? I spoke to some folks in the gay community, and they said they weren’t going because they didn’t like the idea of men running—you know, middle-aged men, with pot bellies, running down the street buck naked. And they didn’t feel comfortable that they could bring their kids there. Do I condone men running down the middle of Yonge St. buck naked? Absolutely not. Maybe there are some people in this city that approve of that, and maybe they can bring their kids down to watch this.” —Councillor Doug Ford, brother and campaign manager to the mayor


“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, marijuana and hash dealing, 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.” —Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, whose ward includes the Church-Wellesley Village


“We thank Mayor Ford for his RSVP, and look forward to hosting another successful event in his absence.” Pride Toronto, organizers of the annual Pride parade


“This isn’t going to be a local embarrassment, this is going to be an international problem.That we have a mayor that is vocal and resolute, I’m not going to change, I don’t attend events that celebrate the LGBT community… It’s very similar to the embarrassment that Putin is causing his nation and the international hatred towards him.” —Councillor Shelley Carroll



“I think the leadership of this council is going to be in complete support of this event and we should do everything we can to make sure Toronto and all of its communities, the gay community in particular, shows themselves off to the world in the best possible light.” —Deputy mayor Norm Kelly, who will be officially invited to Pride


“Frankly [hearing] was a bit of a surprise because we haven’t invited him yet. There is a very recent history of homophobic comments on video, and we would have to think about that very carefully before any specific invitation was issued.” Kevin Beaulieu, executive director of Pride Toronto


“I agree that @TOMayorFord should be at the Pride parade ... but what about @kevinbeaulieu and Pride’s cowardly refusal to deal with QuAIA [Queers Against Israeli Apartheid]?” Sue-Anne Levy, Toronto Sun columnist

(Images: Rob and Doug Ford, Kelly: Christopher Drost; Levy, Dale, Beaulieu: Twitter; Carroll, Wong-Tam:


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