Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam told the audience at the Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans Youth Line Community Youth Awards Gala Friday night that Mayor Rob Ford's office has confirmed that he will not attend the ceremonial raising of the Pride flag at city Hall on June 27.

Ford will send council speaker Frances Nunziata in his stead, Wong-Tam says.
 
Wong-Tam did not give a reason for the mayor’s absence.
 
“The rainbow flag has come under a bit of controversy lately,” she says, referring both to a Mississauga Catholic school’s decision to ban rainbows at an anti-homophobia event and a recent article in The Grid that asserted the new generation of gay people don’t “hang rainbow flags in their windows.”
 
“I think we should still fly the flag as a beacon to say it is simply not okay to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans individuals,” Wong-Tam says.
 
Wong-Tam also notes that many city councillors will be marching in the Pride parade on July 3 as an invited contingent along with PFLAG.
 
Wong-Tam called on everyone assembled to write a letter to Mayor Ford inviting him to both the flag-raising ceremony and to march in the Parade, to make sure he knows he’s welcome.
 
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Wong-Tam says.

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