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Rob Ford not a homophobe, brother says


Rob Ford not a homophobe, brother says

Xtra tests mayor’s willingness to address his LGBT constituents

Is Rob Ford happy to help his gay constituents in Toronto?

His brother, Councillor Doug Ford, thinks so. He told reporters July 11 that Rob Ford is not a homophobe but rather a “spendaphobe” — and challenged media outlets to have a member of the LGBT community call the mayor’s office to request help so they could see Rob assist them.

Xtra promptly requested an interview with the mayor so he could demonstrate his support for the LGBT community.

Staff at both Councillor Ford’s and Mayor Ford’s offices said the Fords were busy but recorded Xtra’s contact information. Xtra also contacted the mayor’s media relations aide, Amin Massoudi, by phone and by email.

There was no response, which was not that surprising, as Rob Ford headed to Nathan Phillips Square after the morning council session for the unveiling of the Pan Am Games countdown clock.

The scene at Nathan Phillips Square was chaotic. Ford was surrounded by security guards trying to guide him back to city hall, but the mayor continually stopped to say hello to camp groups who had come to see the unveiling of the clock and to tour city hall. Small children weaved between the legs of reporters and camera crews trying to get a closer look at the mayor, adding to an already hazardous situation.

While Ford ignored reporters’ questions, Xtra again approached Massoudi to ask if, in light of Doug’s comments, Rob would be willing to sit down with Xtra to address his LGBT constituency.

“The man has a very busy schedule,” Massoudi said. “He’s focused on the items of council, especially the Eglinton Connects report, which is going to have a major impact on the entire city of Toronto.”

After leaving another message for Doug Ford, Xtra headed over to Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s office to get her reaction to Doug’s comments.

“That’s an extremely juvenile response,” she said when shown a Twitter post reporting Doug’s invitation to media to “plant” gay constituents to call his brother for assistance.

Wong-Tam also said that she and a group of people were accosted earlier in the day by a woman wearing a Ford Nation shirt who told them to stop harassing the mayor and called them “fucking faggots.”

“Right on city property,” Wong-Tam said. “It’s unfortunate.”

Xtra made one last attempt to ask Rob Ford a question, joining the daily throng of reporters who wait outside his office during lunch for the five-second walk he takes between his door and the elevator to council chambers.

As soon as Ford appeared, we all piled in around him, shouting questions: “Why did you sit instead of recognizing WorldPride?” “What do you have to say to the gay community?” and, from Global News Toronto’s Jackson Proskow, “Does standing cost money?”

Ford didn’t answer any of them.

Unable to find answers in person, Xtra sent the following list of questions via email to Mayor Ford, Massoudi and Councillor Ford:

Your brother told reporters on July 11 that you are willing to help LGBT constituents. Can you tell us about the last time you did?

You didn’t stand to recognize WorldPride July 9. Why?

City staff worked on WorldPride. Preliminary reports would also suggest it was a financial boon for Toronto. As someone who values cash flow into the city, wouldn’t you want to recognize that contribution?

Why did you hold the report on homeless LGBT youth shelters? Why did you vote against the report? Were you aware that the recommendations in the report had minimal to no financial impact on the city?

Your brother says you have gay staff and volunteers on your campaign team. But you haven’t disclosed the names of your full staff. Who is on the team? And when will the public meet these people, including the LGBT members?

You blamed your homophobic and racist comments on your “disease” and said in an interview with CBC, when asked if you would attend Pride next year, that you would take it “one day at a time.” How are your substance abuse problems related to the decision of whether or not to attend an event? And to comments that you have made?

Are you a homophobe? And if not, why do you continue to not march in the Pride parade?

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I'm not 'fraid of nuttin!
I wonder if, maybe, Robbie thinks "homophobic" has something to do with being afraid, rather than hating. We may be giving him too much credit to assume he can grasp complex issues at any level. In his tiny, warped brain, it is quite likely his ignorance regarding LGBT-anything is fear-based, since he probably doesn't have the mental capacity really to understand the issues enough to "hate".
Underestimating Rob's intelligence is exactly what he wants...
Rob Ford uses his addictions, bigotries and PERCEIVED simple mindedness to maintain his "everyman" image, and justify his repeated requests for forgiveness.

Don't buy it!!

Anyone who has dealt with the man (and I have) will tell you that he is a keenly astute politician, who presents a carefully crafted persona - warts and all. He may be a chronic liar, and is most assuredly free of perspicacious cultural awareness, but he is also no dolt.

How else does someone who comes from such wealth and privilege sell himself as the "mayor of the people".

Yes, he and his siblings have a history of involvement with drugs, and inappropriate behaviour (how many other politicians have sisters who have been shot in the face because of her involvement with the underworld?) but don't confuse that with being inane, or you've been bamboozled along with Ford Nation.

Ford is single minded, not simple minded. Which makes all of his flaws absolutely unforgivable in a leader, and his innate ability to fool everyone incredibly frightening...

And let's not play with language as he is fond of doing..."phobic" may carry a dictionary definition of "fearful", but add "homo" as a prefix, and it is more commonly understood to suggest "hatred". Claiming otherwise allows Rob to (as he did with his crack use) put forward that we are once again simply "not asking the right questions."

Definitely not stupid!
If so, I'd say Robbie would be right.
Isn't homophobia is supposed to refer to manifestations of fear, hatred, violence, etc., motivated by unconscious irrational attitudes concerning same-sex relations? I don't think it's supposed to be just a synonym for bigotry.
Time for Truth
Clearly, Mr. Ford has not yet learned the importance of telling the truth. The fact is that his actions in the past few days show very clearly he is homophobic. It is bad enough that he votes and acts against the LGBT community at every opportunity, but worse that he lies about his feelings and lies about his beliefs concerning LGBT people.
I wish Xtra was half as aggressive .....
in pursuing answers from Wong-Tam as they are from Ford. Wong-Tam brushed off Xtra reporters when it came to answering questions about her betrayal of the community over the renaming of Cawthra-Park. Wong-Tam refuses to answer reporter questions about her controversial involvement in obtaining for two of her artist friends a lucrative public art commission from a developer Wong-Tam granted a huge density increase for a condo project.

Wong-Tam will stonewall reporters when it comes to her own controversies but she is happy to make herself available when given an opportunity to slam Rob Ford with claims that he is a homophobe. Wong Tam help found an anti-Israel hate group. Does that make her an anti-Semite? Should we be referring to Wong-Tam as the 'anti-Semitic Councillor"? Of course not! And Wong-Tam shouldn't be calling someone a "homophobe" just because they don't attend pride parades (are people forgetting that Rob Ford attended two Pride related events last year including a flag raising?)

As explained by Doug - it would have been hypocritical for Rob Ford to stand and applaud the Pride Parade given his opposition to funding the parade because of the involvement of QuAIA. Isn't it rich for Wong-Tam - a financial backer of QuAIA - an organization that has made the Pride parade unpalatable for many - to turn around and accuse anyone who does not support pride as being a "homophobe". It is easy to see the game that this despicable woman is playing!

Wong-Tam is far worse than Rob Ford
I agree that Wong-Tam is far worse than Rob Ford.
Let's try to keep on topic
We get it. You've got a massive hate-on for Wong-Tam. But the subject at hand is Rob Ford (as it has been each time you've posted comments regarding Wong-Tam.

The difference? Wong-Tam is the Councillor for Ward 27, she is NOT the mayor of the largest city in Canada (5th largest in North America).

If the good people of Rosedale decide she's doing a good job, she'll be back after October,. If not, she won't. Nothing you can say can influence the outcome, unless you live in her ward and vote against her.

But with all due respect Kevin, your repeated invoking of Wong-Tam's record in your defenses of Rob Ford is nothing more than willful obfuscation.

Hopefully I am not alone in seeing through it.
Another way to look at it is...
He's still a douche and she's one too. How's that for consistency? And you can toss in brother Doug as well.
...that just about sums it up.