Toronto’s fun-loving mayor Rob Ford didn’t like the rainbow flag that went up on one of the many flagpoles outside city hall on Friday, and he tried to have it taken down.
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.
It is? That’s funny. I thought the Olympics was about going beyond “your country” to international amity and friendly competition. Yes there’s a tension there; yes the nationalism often drowns out the internationalism; but I didn’t think patriotism was supposed to be the official point of the whole thing.
And the rainbow flag doesn’t reduce to just “someone’s sexual preference.” Way to miss the point, Rob Ford.
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.
City Manager Joe Pennachetti sent a letter to the mayor and councillors reminding them of flag protocol on Friday afternoon.
Pennachetti noted the rainbow flag is flying at the request of the 519 Church Street Community Centre, the heart of Toronto’s LGBT community, and will remain flying for the duration of the Olympics.
So there, yabooSUCKS, Rob Ford.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said he supports keeping the rainbow flag up, saying it sends a message to the host country, which has been under fire for its anti-gay laws.
“There’s no antagonism between the two flags,” said Kelly. “Cities right across the country are doing this. This is an expression of Canadianism.”
In protest, Ford placed a Canadian flag in his office window. Upon leaving city hall Friday evening, he said he still wants the rainbow flag removed.
What a crap. Fun-loving Rob Ford is a crap.