TORONTO – Rob Ford stayed seated while every other councillor at city hall gave two standing ovations to Toronto’s WorldPride festival.
One standing ovation was for city staff, the second was for Pride organizers to recognize the success of the week-long festival.
The mayor stayed seated with his back turned to the group being applauded but did clap briefly for both.
The mayor also refused Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s request to release his ‘hold’ (a procedure that forces the item to be debated rather than passing through without a vote) on an item focused on shelter options for LGBTQ youth.
But the mayor insists he isn’t homophobic, even as he refused to say why he stayed seated.
During interviews after returning from rehab, the mayor blamed his addiction – which he says he’s recovering from – for his homophobia and racist slurs.
READ MORE: Does addiction cause homophobia?
“You guys have asked me the question for 14 years and you guys know the answer,” he told reporters that afternoon. “I’m not homophobic.”
His brother, councillor Doug Ford, defended the mayor to reporters. He accused them of being on a witch-hunt and saying he and the mayor have donated to the Pride parade, the mayor has helped gay people who’ve called him and the mayor has gay people on his campaign team.
“If I remember correctly, he did go to the flag raising last year and he did support, and he voted to fund the Pride Parade,” councillor Ford said. “Not only did he do that but, as I mentioned before, we made a donation.”
WATCH: Rob, Doug Ford address questions about why Rob didn’t applaud WorldPride