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77 Comments

politics

Rob Ford Demands Olympic Rainbow Flag Be Taken Down

Mayor rejects City Hall's support for LGBTQ athletes.

At City Hall at noon on Friday, there was a flag-raising ceremony to mark the opening of the Olympic Games. The flag that was raised? The rainbow Pride flag, to honour LGBTQ athletes and show support for inclusive principles, as the Sochi Olympics opens amid opposition to Russia’s recently passed anti-gay legislation.

Soon thereafter Rob Ford did his best Rob Ford impression by demanding that staff remove that rainbow flag, and protesting by hanging a Canadian flag in his office window.

Other Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa, have also made plans to raise Pride flags to mark the opening of the winter Olympics. Ottawa mayor Jim Watson even told off someone on Twitter for opposing the flag. The request to fly the rainbow flag in Toronto came from the 519 Church Street Community Centre, reports CP24, and was approved via the standard protocol process for considering such requests.

Ford’s chief of staff, Dan Jacobs, claims the mayor does not want to see the Olympics politicized.

The mayor’s opposition to the flag isn’t the first time he’s said troubling things about LGBTQ issues this week. During the first mayoral debate, Rob Ford told a crowd at U of T Scarborough Campus that he would not attend WorldPride next year because “I’ve never gone to a Pride parade. So I’m not going to change the way I am.” Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), Rob’s campaign manager, defended those comments in a contentious interview on Newstalk 1010, claiming that he and his brother have problems with pot-bellied “buck naked men” at the parade creating an atmosphere that is not family friendly. (He repeated the phrase “buck naked” six times during the interview.)

For his part Deputy Mayor Kelly, who officially presided over the flag-raising ceremony, said that flying the rainbow flag was “An expression of Canadianism,” and that the Pride and Canadian flags are not in opposition to each other. John Parker (Ward 26, Don Valley West), the conservative councillor who was the first to really break with Rob Ford, had this to say:

There hasn’t yet been any official response to Rob Ford’s demand.

UPDATE 2:46 PM: A member of Rob Ford’s executive committee, Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8, York West) has been attempting to negotiate a compromise: flying both the Canadian and rainbow flags. The mayor’s office has confirmed that conversation is underway, but hasn’t clearly said whether Ford supports that alternative. There is one flagpole on the second floor rooftop podium of City Hall, which is used for official flag-raising ceremonies. There is already a Canadian flag flying in Nathan Phillips Square, however, on the street level.

UPDATE 3:01 PM: From the other major mayoral contender who has so far registered to run against Ford:

UPDATE 3:41 PM: City staff just forwarded the official request to raise the rainbow flag:
rainbow flag olympic request

This afternoon the 519 Community Centre also released a statement in response to this week’s events.

Also, Toronto’s top civil servant, Joe Pennachetti, sent all members of council an email in response to Ford’s demand. The full text of that message:

Dear Mayor & Members of Council:

On Friday, Feb. 7 the Chief of Protocol received a request for the raising of the rainbow flag at City Hall from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23. Attached is the request from The 519 which outlines the rationale for the request.

In accordance with Council approved “Official Flag for the City of Toronto” report, the Chief of Protocol has delegated authority to approve the flag raising on the courtesy flag pole, requested by the non-profit or charitable organization.

Given that the requirements were met, the Chief of Protocol replaced the Toronto flag with the rainbow flag as requested.

Joe

Comments

  • OgtheDim

    The rainbow flag is Un-Canadian?!?!!

    What the………

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Does City Hall only have one flag pole?

    • TorontoistEditors

      Just one on the rooftop podium, which is used for official ceremonies. There is already a Canadian flag flying at another flagpole on the street level of Nathan Phillips Square.

      (Will update post to clarify.)

      • Lloyd_Davis

        There are also several flagpoles on Bay Street, where flags of the provinces — and several Maple Leaf flags — are flown. And I’ve seen indications that the pride flag replaced the Toronto city flag, so no maple leaves (except the one in the middle of the Toronto flag) were harmed.

  • http://www.bitpicture.com Marc Lostracco

    The Fords’ comments on those icky gays are always about the naked men. Let’s keep all that man-on-man ass-smacking where it belongs—on the football field, amirite?

    Boyz Klub No Girlz Alloud Keep Out! And that goes for you too, Krista! Unless the chicks are in lingerie, and then maybe they can play a game or two.

    • sauga905toronto416

      Corny sarcasm always drives the point home!

      Straight people have the right to not give a shit about gays. But in turn the “politically correct” people try their best to ostracize them as unintelligent just because of a lack of tolerance.

      Rob Ford, as messed up as he may be, AGAIN shows something no politicians in today’s world does, that he stands for what he believes in. And that is why he is going to be re-elected and all you self-proclaimed socially conscious people can lament.

      • vampchick21

        There is a difference between ‘not giving a shit” (presuming that you mean, not caring what two consentual adults do in the bedroom and not being bothered by the simple fact that some boys like boys and some girls like girls and not thinking that it’s the end of society as we know it….however, I don’t think that ‘s what you mean) and spouting what amounts to hate and intolerance.

        Perhaps you should learn it?

        Also, Ford standing up for the nasty things he believes in (himself in the end) is the EXACT REASON I DID NOT VOTE FOR HIS PATHETIC ARSE AND NEVER EVER WILL.

  • http://www.bitpicture.com Marc Lostracco

    If it was a football flag during the Grey Cup or Super Bowl, he’d be cheerleading that shit in a nanosecond.

  • NiceMugShot

    Rob Ford the weirdo is the only un-Canadian thing here. Maybe he should t run off to his foreign radio show and hiss about how he opposes public health care, again….Ford – the epitome of antCanadianism.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Someone tell Vladimir Ford that gays pay taxes too.

  • vampchick21

    Seriously dude? Seriously?

  • iamrobfordsaneurysm

    I was going to be angry, but, the more I think about it, what this ignorant, sad, insecure, hypocritical mayor needs is to be completely and totally ignored. Rising to his hate-fueled, petty and vindictive bait just feeds his ever-greater delusions of relevancy. I’m going to go about my life, and be who I am and be just as proud as I want about it, and nothing this misguided homophobe can do will ever change that.

    • barrystorr21

      Don’t you people have your own “FAG POLE” to fly that Fag on? City hall belongs to the thepublic at large, not a few from a fringe group.

      • OgtheDim

        You do know that putting your pic up on social media while posting something homophobic is good way to

        a) lose your job

        b) lose friends

        c) get told off by your family

        d) get told off by any religious figure in your life

        e) generally have a miserable life

        Anyhooooooo…………last I heard the public at large included people who have an issue with discrimination.

        If you think the rainbow flag is just “for” gays, ur ignorant.

        But, given your post…that’s a given.

        • barrystorr21

          they can’t hurt me, and this is why the world is going to hell in a hand basket, when someone disagrees with people like you you call them names, but if it makes you feel better go ahead. If disagreeing with the rainbow flag flying at city hall is homophobic, then you really need to look up the definition. Why stop with the rainbow flag, why not the others when they request that it be flown? My photo is up to show that I believe in what I say and do need to hide behind a false self to speak.

          • Jon

            Ummm….newsflash buddy…your use of the terms such as “fag pole” is effectively the same as name calling.

          • barrystorr21

            Hey Jon the British have been using the term Fag for centries refering to a single cigarette, so now all of a sudden the term has been hijacked by the gay community and can’t be used by noone else? accept the fact that the behavior of some, and even their lifestyle will not be accepted by many people, including you, so the fact that I disagrees with hanging the rainbow flag above city hall does not renders me homophobic, I just don’t think tax payers forum is the place for any group to advance their social agender. Use the media, where you can pay for it and say what you want.

          • nomoremicrophones

            a quick wikipedia study shows that the british have not been using the term fag for centuries to refer to cigarettes. might i suggest you brush up a little on the history of the word if you wish to use it in polite company? and although you may think “FAG POLE” is clever, it’s actually quite a stupid joke if you mean to use the word to refer to something other than gay men. and if you do mean it to refer to gay men, in the pejorative sense of the word, then you are indeed name-calling. otherwise, congratulations on successfully trolling torontoist.

          • Jon

            nomoremicrophones hit the nail on the head…it doesn’t matter what the origins of the word “fag” are or how the word was used in the past. Given the nature of this entire series of posts, you clearly meant to use it, pejoratively, to refer to gay community. The bigger issue is why are you so concerned about other people and their lifestyle choices? Love thy neighbour…and get over yourself.

          • vampchick21

            You are what is wrong with this world. Stop.

          • OgtheDim

            Actually the word faggot was used for centuries to mean a bunch of sticks. To be a faggot catcher meant to go around and collect wood. It was a menial job.

            That word was then applied by upper class toffs in English public schools to their lower classmen who they got to do menial jobs for them. Some of those upper class toffs raped those lower classmen. So eventually, the word faggot was applied to young boys who get raped. And from there it was applied to all gay men.

            Ur application of it was obviously demeaning.

            Homophobe is what you wear…..best of luck explaining all this to your friends and family.

          • m_ax

            Actually the City does fly other flags when requested. Here’s a link of all the flags they’ve raised over the current term of Council:

            http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=b3097aac783a1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=62264a1646891410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextfmt=default

            Feel free to believe in what you say all you want, but maybe before sharing your obviously enlightened views with the rest of us, check that what you’re saying is rooted in oh I don’t know FACTS??

          • OgtheDim

            Wait a second…….you called it a fagpole and then get all huffy about being called a name?!?!?

            Calling somebody a fag goes across the stupid line beyond mere disagreement.

            I stand by what I said.

            Putting your pic on there goes beyond stupid.

      • dsmithhfx

        Flying the rainbow flag from the city hall flagpole is symbolic of how all the people of Toronto support tolerance and diversity. If you have a problem with that, you might want to take a refresher course in history. Also, you need to use a spellchecker. Have a great day!

      • nomoremicrophones

        i thought i was done with this comment thread, however re-reading this i am angry all over again. i live in toronto, pay taxes here, vote here, support local businesses, and am engaged in our civic life and our culture. city hall belongs to me, as a member of the public at large, and i am queer. no, whomever you are, i do not have my own flag pole to fly a flag on. literally, i don’t own a flag pole. actually…i don’t own a flag either, but i digress. i don’t consider myself part of a fringe group, as i don’t consider that 100% straight people are the centre around which my group of queer people are crowded into the margin. we are all in this together. i may not be one of the revelers down on church every summer (it’s not the baccanalia that has turned me away, it’s the bad dance music and omnipresent marketing of banks/sunscreen/condos/beer/etc.), but that doesn’t mean the rainbow flag doesn’t have meaning for me. it’s a symbol, and that is important. in my lifetime Pride has grown from a rebel march protesting against the State and demanding justice (barrystorr21, look up Stonewall and read about how early Pride marches commemorated that night) to a celebration of the progress we have made in terms of growing to accept people for whom they love and the bodies they desire.
        and i wish there was a better flag to fly. the rainbow flag and the paraphenalia around it has always made me cringe and roll my eyes.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    Adam Vaughan on Rob Ford:

    “He’s crazy. He lives in a crazy world with crazy people doing crazy things to each other.”

    Pretty much explains everything about our raging, sputtering, angry Mayor.

  • Wynne Parkin

    we have had enough of this imbecile..keep the flag ..get rid of ford!

  • tpoff17

    ford doesn’t want to politicize the olympics and then proceeds to put up a canadian flag in his office window?

    • Eric S. Smith

      Maybe Ford thinks that the flag is the logo of the team we’re cheering for, and of course he’d never cheer for the rainbow team. It’s the same mindset that brings us the phrase “Ford Nation:” nothing to do with citizenship, or even nationalism — it’s sports branding.

  • OgtheDim

    If you read the list of flags that the protocol office allow, its obvious that many are there for political reasons.

    What’s the problem with this one?

    I get the feeling Rob thought it was put up there just to stick one to him.

    Once again, its all about Rob.

    • Eric S. Smith

      “I get the feeling Rob thought it was put up there just to stick one to him.”

      This is the simplest explanation.

      • torontothegreat

        Hadn’t considered this… It seems quite accurate.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        Given his remarks at the debate on Monday and Doug’s classic “buck-naked men” on Yonge Street rant yesterday, it’s quite plausible that Rob thought it was Council sticking it to him. A bit paranoid but not too far fetched.

    • rich1299

      I personally think that Ford’s anti-LGBTQ beliefs are going to be playing a bigger role in the next election than they did in the last one and that this is the start of it. During the last election he made a point of supporting a fringe candidate who didn’t stand a chance of finishing in the top 5 for that riding. Ford arrange a photo op for the candidate, with Ford right beside him, to spout off his anti-LGBTQ bigotry. Ford then made a point of saying he supported this fringe candidates bigotry, well not in those words.

      Ford is directly appealing to bigots to get their votes. Ford always appeals to the very worst in people with wedge issues and this is just another one. Its the very worst of politics, it causes damage to societies by fragmenting them into opposing groups all for the personal benefit of whatever politician.

  • jimro

    Rob has found his “safe” place again: where it’s him against everybody else!

  • wklis

    Nathan Phillips Square was named after Toronto Mayor Nathan Phillips. He was known as “Mayor Of All The People” in Toronto. And a Conservative.

    Rob Ford is Mayor for only a few people who agree with him or follow him like lapdogs.

  • chrisvogel

    I guess that, since Council has had to take away his other duties, he’s reduced to being in charge of flags. He displays his usual full range of behaviours, all the way from creepy to jerky.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Show up wherever Ford is and wave flags and call him out?

  • kevsean

    do you want to know the best way to get rid of him? show up and vote this Fall!!! voter turnout in 2010 was abysmal…i will give Ford Nayshun a little credit, they certainly get out and vote in droves, unlike most people i know who are as offended by that group as i am! Please, Toronto, get out and VOTE! it’s the only sure way to get rid of him…

  • Mat D

    We do realise this is the olympics and the gay community isnt a seperate nation
    it should be a Canadian flag…
    Its the world competing…
    So do we through a hetero flag up and a white flag. Black flag. Boy flag girl flag?
    No its Nations
    not subsectors
    the segregatin this day in age is amazing

    • OgtheDim

      Did you even bother to read the article?

      In the last 4 years, that flagpole has had a flag up there for:

      Alzeihmers

      Movember

      CUPE

      The Salvation Army

      The National Survivors of Suicide

      Canadian power and sail Squadrons

      CARP

      D-Day

      World Habitat Day

      You got a problem with the Rainbow flag being up there, then you got a problem with those groups having a flag up there.

      Suck it up buttercup

      • Jim

        And Gay Pride week.

      • OpportKnocks

        I disagree Og, no one has an issue with the rainbow flag being flown on the “special” city pole during pride week, including Rob Ford: “Mayor Rob Ford attended his first Pride Toronto event Monday, participating in the raising of the flag”. (quote from the Toronto Star)

        What is troublesome about this is the request, as is clear from the letter, is that is a political solidarity request that targets very narrow legislation in a sovereign nation during the Olympics. My observation is that very few people have bothered to familiarize themselves with the legislation in Russia, and to protest comparable legislation in the USA:
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/us-hypocrisy-over-russias-anti-gay-laws/2014/01/31/3df0baf0-8548-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html

        Also, ask yourself what the city response would be if, for example, a Tibetan group wanted to fly their flag to protest Chinese policies there or a Palestinian group wanted to protest Israeli settlement policies.

        • dsmithhfx

          The Olympics is global. Hello?

          • OpportKnocks

            What does “global” have to do with anything? The flag request specifically targets Russia who’s LBGT policies are in the middle of the spectrum worldwide. And, as the Washington Post article points out, similar to Utah and there were no protests there.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_by_country

          • torontothegreat

            I’m just going to quote one of the commenters on that article, who put it quite well:

            “Seems a bit disingenuous to me to pull out some state statutes—some not even enforced—and label that as US policy. While I agree there is much to be done here in terms of gay rights, there’s not national anti-gay policy compared to what was passed most recently in Russia.”

            If you are unable to see the difference, you’re already doomed.

          • OpportKnocks

            Doomed to what? Understanding the difference between the US and Russian constitutions and the divisions of responsibility between levels of government, which the author of that quote apparently does not.

            Even in this province, the recent provincial initiative to allow Gay/Straight Alliance clubs in schools was resisted by a large number of catholic school boards.

            As for the IOC’s attempt to appear politically correct on the LGBT issues surrounding the current games, I wonder what their reaction is going to be when the first same sex couple wants to compete in ice dance. Can’t wait for that one.

          • torontothegreat

            Dude, give it up. There is no comparison to Russia and the U.S. when it comes to constitutional rights, especially in the LGBT community. The article that you posted, makes no argument for the U.S. constitution, just a bunch of un-enforced laws in schools in Utah and frames the article as U.S. constitution. In fact, these ridiculous state laws could in fact be challenged by constitutional law and would win – so what the f’ are you going on about?

            Comparing sanctioned killings, bombings, arrests, torture and bullying in Russia, which go un-investigated to the Gay/Straight Alliance issue in schools in Ontario, is just cause for a quadruple face palm.

          • OpportKnocks

            If you can get past your own preconceptions of what you think I am trying to say, you might have a chance at participating an adult conversation. I never mentioned “constitutional rights”, I am talking about the constitutional division of responsibility. They are two very different things.

            Specifically, the constitution of Russia does not provide for “States” each with equal constitutional responsibility and powers as is the case in the USA, where laws and policies regarding these matter like marriage are specifically delegated to the state level. They have 83 constitutional units (still in flux as was the USA at that age) with varying responsibilities, hence, any meaningful laws in Russia must be at he federal level.

            Also, I am not comparing the recent Russian “don’t promote homosexuality to minors” law to our recent provincial policy direction. Nor am I supporting it. The point is that the the discussion of LGBT issues in relationship to minors is very recent and far from unanimous in this country as well.

          • torontothegreat

            “division of responsibility”

            I already explained that. Comprehension much?

            Let me put it bluntly for you, you seem a bit dense.

            Any type of comparison or “point” you are trying to make regarding Russia VS Utah in terms of LGBT rights is not only disingenuous, it’s ignorant, small-minded and tells me that you have a very narrow, viewpoint and are unable to comprehend words, meanings and the consequences of people’s actions.

          • OpportKnocks

            Let me get the sequence of events right. Yesterday, you posted a comment (3 above) that was originally an incorrect interpretation of my comments and also insulting to me. Then either, while I was typing a reasoned response (ignoring the insult), or shortly after, you edited your own comments to remove the insults and also to attempt to address my comments. So now my response appears to be out of context with your corrected comments.

            Then today, you go back to insulting me in the post above. How is my comprehension and understanding of the consequences of people’s (your) actions now?

            I recognize that I have an advantage in a debate concerning Russia’s internal politics,constitution and the many challenges it faces as an emerging nation. My partner is ex Russian foreign service and part of the huge post-perestroika diaspora. We have many interesting debates on their political and economic situation. The one thing we absolutely agree on is that other countries should butt out of Russia’s internal politics. All that it does is feed the US political agenda (Yes, those absolute hypocrites to the south) to to keep Russia from again becoming a major player in world affairs.

          • vampchick21

            So essentially, we should all ignore the anti-gay law passed in Russia prior to the Olympics and pretend that Sochi’s mayor didn’t say they have no gays and gays wouldn’t be welcome anyway, because Russia’s business/big bad USA? Will you then agree that by having such a stance, you should therfore hold a similar stance in regards to the the next to no status of women in many countries, the targeting of gays in other countries, the literal witch hunts in African nations, the use of child labour and practical slave labour in the garment factories in many nations….shall I go on? We should all just butt out and leave them be because their business/big bad USA?

            Sorry sweetheart, can’t and wont’ agree. Deal.

          • OpportKnocks

            From reading many posts on the internet and through discussion with both gay and straight colleagues here in the office, it is clear that many, many people are unaware of the very limited scope of the recent “don’t promote homosexuality to minors” law in Russia. Hence, the western over reaction to it.

            The mayor of Sochi’s comments are laughable, as are most of Putin’s comments on the issue. But no more laughable than many of the Tea Party republican legislator comments, or our own Vic Toews. But consider the larger historical context, homosexuality in the USSR was legal from shortly after inception up until 1930, long before it was legal in Canada, only to be overturned again in the Stalin era. With the exodus of a huge chunk of the educated middle class, Russia is in another reactionary cycle, which will pass or not, completely independent of our government’s or any political action group’s intervention. The track record of foreign policy intervention in Russia is not good, remember that Lenin was backed by the Germans.

            My point, and that of the WP article, is focus your attention at home. If we are going to act on a lofty principle, then do so and confront our own hypocrisy. How many LGBT people fly off to Cuba for a cheap vacation. Cuba is hardly a bastion of progressive LGBT rights.

            And our prime minister, boycotting a commonwealth event in Sri Lanka, but not protesting against Israel or China. No way, there are too many dollars and votes at stake there.

          • vampchick21

            Are you then saying that we only discuss/protest these things happening in other countries and never bother with our own? Because frankly, that’s false. Just ask anyone raising their voices locally. And when and where the legalities of homosexuality were repealed and reinstated is not the point. The point is what is happening NOW. The point is to speak up, regardless of when or where. Just because we have problems here does not mean we must therefore ignore problems elsewhere until we actually are holier than them.

          • OpportKnocks

            No, my constructive suggestion/advice is to make an effort where it will have an impact, here at home. The old “think globally. act locally” mantra. Thinking that our western outrage will have any impact on Russia’s domestic policies is hopelessly naive. They will come to terms with this issue and several 1000 others on their own timetable.

            My sense is that Putin and other members of the educated class are to a small degree embarassed by this. He made a point of visiting and congratulating an openly gay Dutch athlete today. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/putin-parties-gets-cuddle-from-first-openly-gay-medalist-of-these-games/article16773531/

          • vampchick21

            Or you could just accept that *I* will raise my voice about *any* issue *anywhere in the world* at *any* time that *I* feel is right and necessary. And accept the fact that others feel the same.

            I won’t turn my back on others in other countries because things aren’t perfect here.

          • Dinah Might

            So your point is that Russia only made homosexuality a LITTLE bit illegal.

          • OpportKnocks

            No, homosexuality among consenting adults has been legal in Russia (again) for 2 decades. Only the promotion of same sex lifestyles to minors is illegal.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            The law is used to ban all public displays of gay-associated symbols (even rainbows, not just in flag form), ban protests and marches by gay groups, and entrap gay organizations and gatherings by planting 17-year-olds in crowds and audiences.

          • Mojo

            My point, and that of the WP article, is focus your attention at home.
            *
            I think everyone’s point is that they’ll focus their attention however they see fit.

            Have you considered wandering over the Toronto Sun comment trails? You’ll fit riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight in.

          • OpportKnocks

            True, people are free to howl at the moon, it will have just as much effect as this political action.

          • dsmithhfx

            In a previous post, you said “My sense is that Putin and other members of the educated class are to a small degree embarassed by this.” And I suppose you think this was a coincidence?

            If “Putin and other members of the educated class” don’t give a damn about global opinion, why would they be so keen to host the Olympics in the first place?

            The sum of all the efforts you’ve expended here is zilch. Admit it, and move on.

          • OgtheDim

            Anybody who slams the raising of a flag that is raised in support of people who are getting beaten up because of who they are – that person deserves to have their views insulted.

            Walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes.

          • OpportKnocks

            If you think the statement “What is troublesome about this request..” is equal to “slams the raising of a flag”, you guilty of the same hyperbole that has magnified the debate to become about more than it is.

            Russia has a thriving gay community in major urban centres where they are not harassed. Agreed, there are problems with violence in remote villages and towns, just like here 25 years ago. There are also problems with neo-nazis and skinheads who target both gays and non-russians (hate crime). That is why so many LGBT moved to the big city both here and there.

            People also complain that the Russian law enforcement is lax in pursuing hate crime against certain segments. Not much different than the RCMP in BC and their “non-investigation” of the disappearance of native women and prostitutes.

            My son still has the scars from being beaten up for who he is here in Toronto, so no comments about other people’s shoes please.

          • dsmithhfx

            “What does “global” have to do with anything?”

            Which planet are you on?

          • OpportKnocks

            The winter Olympics are hardly global, only 88 countries.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          Your objection is a nonstarter. The city has protocols for running a flag up the pole, and this did not violate the spirit or letter of them.

          • OpportKnocks

            I totally get that the city had to approve the request in accord with their policy. It is also clear from my all comments here that my quarrel is not with the city, but the LGBTQ organizations that made the request for singling out Russia only.

        • OgtheDim

          You are saying that support for “the LGBTQ communities in Russian and LGBTQ inclusion in sports and recreation” is political?!?!

          Support for people who are being beaten up for being who they are (LGBTQ) is not politics.

          And, no I don’t give a rats patottie that there are equally bad laws in other places. Thugs beating up LGBTQ people in Russia isn’t less of an issue because of what is happening in Uganda.

          • OpportKnocks

            Yes, if they left out the phrase “communities in Russia” (calculatingly repeated 2x in a very short letter) and just said “LGBTQ inclusion in sports and recreation” it would have been non-political, i.e. “pro-inclusion” and not specifically “anti-Russia”, since the problem is common to many countries.

            Understood? Maybe the letter signators will learn in time for the World Cup in Russia in 2018, or Qatar 2022. Apparently only M-M homosexuality is illegal there, they are tolerant of F-F, who knew?

      • Angie Mac

        Movember is very important!

  • David

    Rob Ford continues to be the pathetic face of this marvellous diverse city. Those of us who love this city, understand what a special place we inhabit. Unfortunately, we are being branded by this bigoted, hateful, self destructive human being. Hopefully October 2014 will usher in a new era for TO. Get out and vote. We deserve better.

  • OpportKnocks

    Flag or no flag, I found this editorial in the Washington Post instructive, as most people seemed to be uninformed by the facts.

    • Dinah Might

      Instructive how? The editorial points out that there are old, unenforced laws in the USA that are also anti-gay. It suggests that those laws should themselves be repealed, and that standing up to Russia’s new and enforced anti-gay laws could provide the impetus for the USA to clean up their own books.

      All excellent points, but how does any of that excuse Rob Ford’s behaviour?

      • OpportKnocks

        I never mentioned his name and there is no excuse for Rob Ford’s behaviour.

  • Punned_It

    How about all of us sending him rainbow flags or anything else with a rainbow on it? A whole office full of rainbows would be a lovely sight to see.

  • Konstantine

    Rob Ford is the epitome of “scum-bag”!