REFOCUS BY GERARD VELDHOVEN
A few weeks ago at a Toronto city council meeting, Rob Ford decided to refuse to join all other councillors in a standing ovation for World Pride organizers. This move should not surprise anyone as this mayor has continually spoken out against the LGBTQ community, having ignored Toronto’s own Pride Week celebrations.
Aside from the fact that millions went into business coffers and taxes paid to the city, Ford does absolutely nothing to heal the rift or his own stance on equality. The man may dance to a different tune if one of his children came out as queer. Then again, he seems void of loving feelings so that scenario could play against the son or daughter. Chances are strong that he/she would be kicked to the curb.
He also refused to recognize the Pride Flag when it was raised at City Hall. The day following the ovation Ford again showed his true colours and was the only councillor to vote against a proposal to help gay youth, including the possibility of a shelter. LGBTQ teens do not fit into regular shelters as they endure physical and verbal abuse because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Ford’s opponent in the fall election of a new mayor and council, Olivia Chow, commented on twitter; “Ford voted no to an LGBTQ shelter. In a world free of homophobia we would not need one. It’s a world he refuses to help create.”
He keeps saying he is not homophobic making me wonder if his intelligence prevents him from understanding the word. He has continually bombarded the LGBTQ members of our society. The mayor is displaying himself to be a tough-drinking, verbally abusive and hypocritical human being. He blames all his comments on his “Illness,” but he seems more like a person who is mean spirited and playing a game that is both inhumane and destructive.
In a country where over 80 per cent of the population supports queer rights, people such as Rob Ford are in huge minority, something he should keep in mind when is knocking on doors. Our justice system does protect us from discrimination, but not homophobia.
Leaders of a city, town, province or our federal government have the obligation to protect the safety of all peoples and as such should fully support early education as a road to total equality. Ford does not fit that bill. The man seems to be not at all comfortable with his own sexuality, otherwise why attack the LGBTQ community so adamantly. Perhaps he feels threatened. “Me thinks thou dost protest too much.” Comments and information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerard Veldhoven is a longtime activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. His column appears Wednesdays in The News.