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Rob Ford’s former press secretary explains the real reason he won’t attend Pride

The kind of scenario Adrienne Batra thinks Rob Ford wants to avoid

After getting into a bit of a verbal spat with the mayor last week, Rob Ford’s former press secretary, Adrienne Batra, is hammering him again, this time for planning to avoid this summer’s Pride parade. Batra joins the chorus of columnists and city hall-watchers who believe Ford should suck it up and go to at least one Pride event—but, unlike many, she’s approaching the issue from the standpoint of strategy. The former insider says Ford isn’t homophobic. Rather, he’s concerned that marching in the parade would alienate people who are homophobic his more conservative political base (polls suggest most voters either don’t care or don’t want him to attend). Batra’s advice to Ford: attend the raising of the rainbow flag at the start of Pride Week, thereby supporting Toronto’s gay and lesbian community without estranging conservative voters by appearing at an event that features “naked ass chaps or getting hosed down by super soakers.” She may be right, but Ford didn’t take Batra’s advice when she was his press secretary last summer—why would he take it now? [Toronto Sun]

(Images: Ford, West Annex News; Pride scene, Ryan)

  • Bob

    Ah, so he’s protecting homophobes from the horror of having their mayor (he certainly isn’t my mayor) from going to any Pride events. I wonder if he also is also influenced by the opinion of racists and other intolerant groups…?

  • Go Big Or Go To EtobiCoke

    “The people of the city have spoken loud and clear. They want heteros folks. They want heteros, heteros, heteros,” Ford told council.

    “People hate the gay parade. They hate these homosexual hijinx. You can call them what you want. People want heteros folks. They want heteros, heteros. They don’t want these damned gay parades blocking up our city. That’s what they don’t want.”

  • JoeTory

    As a conservative, I am of course ecstatic Ford has spat in the faces of downtown homosexuals for the second year in a row.

    Let’s face it. It is smart from a political perspective to bash the homos. Not only does it appeal to Conservative Canadians who are made sick by their repressed inner desires, but immigrants from conservative countries – Muslims from Saudi Arabia, for example – will rally behind a leader who rejects the sick openness of multicultural Canada and adopts more chaste and macho leadership values.

    LOL, perhaps you Forced Multiculturalists could get Ford in the parade by forcing the marchers to wear burquas. ;-)

  • Perry

    Dear Joe Tory, or I should I say far right-wing white upper class educated, but ignorant silly man. No one is forcing you to live in Canada full of culture. You argue from a perspective of being a white elitist who I assume has never felt racism or discrimination. For all we now, you’re just as gay as I am, but are suppressing and probably going to develop some mental disorder not yet discovered by the DSM.

  • ah123

    I’d rather he just skip the whole thing entirely at this point than show his ugly mug at one event and get brownie points for doing so.

  • brandon

    However the “mayor” is fine watching his neice run around nearly naked pretending to be a “tramp oh I mean football player”. Homophobe sexist ball of lard.