Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: 'I Am Not Homophobic'
TORONTO -- Toronto mayor Rob Ford on Tuesday took to YouTube to deny he's against gay people.
"I am not homophobic. I will go to anyone's house, anyone's place to help them out. I take offense when people say that to me," the embattled politician said as he defended a request for a Pride flag atop City Hall, in solidarity with Russia's gay community during the Sochi Olympics, be taken down.
"This is about supporting our athletes, this is not about your sexual preference. I support our athletes, I support the people that train for four years," Ford argued.
"And there's no reason I can see that we should be putting up the Pride flag during the Olympics," he added in answer to a question from a suburban Toronto mother who said her son is gay and insists the mayor does not represent all citizens.
Doug Ford, the mayor's brother and a city councilor, said he has "gay friends" before insisting the mayor and his family were being bullied by the LGBTQ community.
"Don’t put a gun to anyone's head that disagrees with you. It doesn't mean they hate gays. It's just a bunch of bullying," Doug Ford told his brother on the YouTube video.
The Ford brothers have launched a weekly online show as part of a re-election bid by the Toronto mayor, despite a continuing media storm and police investigation following admissions of alcohol and drug abuse.
Rob Ford has also been stripped of virtually all his political powers after being mocked by the global media, including late night U.S. talk show hosts, after insisting he is not a "gangbanger," talking crudely about oral sex on TV and admitting to crack cocaine use and "drunken stupors."
The loss of his political powers has in turn forced the Toronto mayor to make a beeline to the media with a failed reality TV show, followed by cheaply produced YouTube videos.