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."
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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.