Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford demands City Hall remove rainbow flag

Toronto’s embattled mayor, Rob Ford, has stepped in it again.  This time, Ford reportedly “went on a rampage” after he saw that Toronto’s city hall had raised the gay flag, presumably in solidarity with gay Russians, and overall gay people, on this first day of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

“This is the Olympics,” the local paper, Globe and Mail, reported.  “This is about being patriotic to your country. This is not about sexual preference.”

Ford was referring to ongoing protests against the Russian government holding the Olympic games at a time in which President Putin is cracking down on gay and trans people in that country.

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Coincidentally, Ford was joined in his “take down that flag” outrage by the Russian government, which arrested numerous gay rights protesters in Moscow’s Red Square today for waving – wait for it – the rainbow flag.

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Gay rights protesters are arrested in Moscow’s Red Square on February 7, 2014 for waving the rainbow flag, and singing the Russian national anthem, on the opening day of the Winter Olympics.

But after the intervention of a local city council member, Ford finally agreed to fly both the Canadian and the gay flags.

Ford made waves earlier this week when he said he wouldn’t attend the city’s gay Pride parade.

“I’ve never gone to a Pride parade,” Ford said. “So I’m not going to change the way I am.”

But rest assured, oh gays, Rob Ford has lots of gay friends. His brother even said so:

Mr. Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, defended the mayor’s decision, saying his brother isn’t homophobic and has gay friends.

And Ford seemed like such a nice man.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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