Rob Ford says he is "spendaphobic," not homophobic.
That's the latest line in an ongoing debate over whether the mayor is anti-gay after he chose to sit during a standing ovation for WorldPride organizers and he was the lone vote against a study of homeless shelter space for LGBT youth.
"I'm a spendaphobe, that's what I am," said Ford as he entered an event Friday morning. "I watch taxpayers' money."
Doug Ford, the Rob's brother and campaign manager, reiterated the message several times.
Coun. Ford said not standing to clap for WorldPride was just consistency from the mayor.
"Rob Ford has decided not to go to the gay pride parade. And all of a sudden, he’s going to get up and he’s going to be applauding the gay pride parade?” he said. It would be "hypocrisy" if the mayor stood, Coun. Ford argued.
Coun. Ford said not voting in favour of a study to see if devoting 25 per cent of space in an existing youth homeless shelter was simply that it's not needed.
He said youth shelters are not full, thus a LGBT shelter is not necessary.
In a survey in November, 2013, youth shelter beds in the city were operating at close to 80 per cent capacity.
Coun. Ford's final statement on his brother's attitudes toward the gay community is that members of the LGBT community work on the Ford re-election campaign. He said he considered bringing gay campaign workers to city hall to vouch for Ford, but reconsidered.
“They’re actually scared of the media to come down and actually say, ‘I’m gay, I’m part of the gay community, Rob Ford has helped me numerous times and I work on his campaign.’”
Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam said the mayor has already demonstrated he doesn't care about the gay community.
She said that since there is no financial impact of the vote on the LGBT youth shelter, there would be no reason Ford, an avowed tax fighter, to vote against it.
"In the private sector, if there was anyone who behaves in this way, they would be reprimanded," she said.
Also on HuffPost:
1) He Raised A Ruckus About City Funding For LGBTQ
As a city councillor back in 2005, Ford sparked controversy by <a href="http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=188969" target="_blank">speaking out</a> against city funding for LGBTQ programs. "I don't understand. Number one, I don’t understand a transgender. I don’t understand. Is it a guy dressed up like a girl, or a girl dressed up like a guy? And we’re funding this for – I don’t know, what does it say here – we’re giving them $3,210?"
2) He Voted Against Funding To Fight AIDS
Four years before becoming mayor, Ford caused controversy by voting against the city <a href="http://www.citynews.ca/2006/06/29/councillor-rob-ford-under-fire-over-aids-comments/" target="_blank">spending $1.5 million to fight AIDS.</a> "If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably," he said in council chambers. "That’s the bottom line.... How are women getting it? Maybe they are sleeping with bisexual men."
3) He Spoke Out Against Funding Pride Week
Then, just three years before becoming mayor, Ford said the city shouldn't be <a href="http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/7364-ford-slams-city-for-pride-grant/" target="_blank">"supporting sexuality"</a> with taxpayer money. "Do we have a straight parade? Do we have a heterosexual parade? Do we fund that? No, so I don't know why (are we) funding other things like that?"
4) He Refuses To Take Part In The Pride Parade
Since becoming mayor in 2010, Ford has never taken part in the Pride parade, always maintaining it conflicts with an annual trip to the family cottage. However, during a debate in February, Ford admitted <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/02/06/rob-ford-gay-pride-parade_n_4737098.html" target="_blank">he does not participate because it's just the way he is </a> "I'm not going to go to the Pride parade," he said. "I've never gone to a Pride parade. So I'm not going to change the way I am."
5) He Reportedly Used A Homophobic Slur Against Trudeau
According to The Toronto Star, Ford called Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/05/22/rob-ford-video-justin-trudeau-slur_n_3319378.html" target="_blank">"f-g" </a>in the 2013 video that appeared to show him smoking crack.
6) He Didn't Want The Rainbow Flag Flying At City Hall
Ford took exception to a rainbow flag raised at City Hall <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/02/07/rob-ford-rainbow-flag-toronto_n_4746670.html" target="_blank">in support of gay athletes competing in the Sochi Olympics</a>. Russia passed a number of heinous anti-gay laws this year. "This is about the Olympics, this is about being patriotic to your country," he said. "This is not about somebody's sexual preference." Ford was unsuccessful in his attempt to have the flag removed.
7) He Was Angry Tim Hudak Agreed 'With All The Gays'
Ford was recorded in an Etobicoke bar in April criticizing former Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak for <a href="http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/30/rob-ford-tape-full-text-the-audio-tape-of-the-toronto-mayor-at-an-etobicoke-bar-disparaging-karen-stintz/" target="_blank">agreeing that a rainbow flag should also fly at Queen's Park </a>during the Olympics. Ford suggested Hudak just went along with what a "gay organization" wanted. "Tim Hudak comes out and says 'yeah I agree with all the gays,'" Ford is heard saying. The mayor said Hudak "lost his vote."
8) He Refused To Give Standing Ovation To WorldPride Organizers
In July, Ford was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/07/09/rob-ford-world-pride-standing-ovation_n_5571104.html" target="_blank">the sole member of council</a> not to stand and applaud organizers and staff who worked on the WorldPride festival. He refused to say why but told reporters after that he is not homophobic.
9) He Is Against Helping Out Gay Homeless Youth
A day after the standing ovation controversy, Ford was the only member of Toronto city council to vote against a proposal to help gay homeless youth. The motion urged city staff to <a href="http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/toronto2014election/2014/07/10/rob_ford_casts_lone_vote_against_proposal_to_help_gay_homeless_youth.html" target="_blank">study allocating 25 per cent of beds in a youth shelter to LGBTQ+youth and possibly create a shelter just for them.</a> It passed 37-1.
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