According to Xtra, "Adrienne Batra, head of Communications for the Rob Ford campaign, says the Ford campaign itself is not responsible for the ad. Batra says the campaign is "appalled" by it, and compared the reference to Smitherman's homosexuality to disparaging comments made about Ford's weight. "We have no idea where this ad came from. They're alluding to his lifestyle choices and no one feels ill-feelings for his choice." UPDATE: @RobFordTeam (the official Twitter account of the Rob Ford campaign) wrote: "I do not condone the recent Tamil Radio ad. I support diversity & have no issue with others' lifestyle choices. #voteTO"
(Note: Recent science suggests that homosexuality is an inherent, genetic designation rather than a "lifestyle choice", but Ford's heart, and tolerance, is in the right place.)
1st Person: Mani Anna, Who you voting for in the Mayoral Election?
2nd Person: [Laughs] What kind of question is this? I am Tamil. We have a religion and culture. Take Rob Ford for an example, his wife is a women. That's not only it, he said will reduce land transfer taxes and other taxes.
1st Person: What about Immigration?
2nd Person: [Laughs] That's a federal government issue. So, the white people can get our vote.
1st Person: I am also going to vote for Rob Ford.
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There are plenty of reasons not to vote for George Smitherman, such as his demonstrated lack of competence as a manager of large governmental budgets, his lack of trustworthiness, and his pandering to whatever audience he's in front of. But his sexual orientation in irrelevant to all this. I'd vote for Quentin Crisp (with whom I once had a very interesting telephone conversation) as mayor, if I thought he would cut the waste and entitlement that characterizes Toronto's city hall (and if he were still alive).
That's why I'm voting Ford.
UPDATE: The Smitherman campaign has unearthed some pictures that turned up in the east end of Toronto pandering to religious Muslim homophobia. This last bit of news is hardly surprising. Conservative members of the Islamic community tend to only express tolerance for those Gays who condemn Israel, but otherwise, have denounced homosexuality in the strongest, most bigoted terms.