Rob Ford Gay Pride Toronto

Will Rob Ford attend Pride this year?

It's that time of year again — when we collectively wait to see whether or not Rob Ford will participate in Toronto's annual Pride festivities. The Toronto Star reports that an official invitation has been dispatched by Pride Toronto for 2012, which will put the matter of Ford's attendance back on the municipal affairs radar.

That his prospective attendance remains dubious continues to strike me as ludicrous — it should be a given that the Mayor of Toronto participates and endorses an event of this magnitude — but based on his steadfast refusal to participate last year, it's legitimate to wonder if he'll have a change of heart this time around.

My hunch is that Ford will do something Pride-related this year — even if he doesn't make the main event. Although the mayor can be as bull-headed a politician as I've ever followed, I suspect that the widespread disappointment from last year and the pressure that's sure to come this year, will ultimately sway him. After all, the "I-have-a-very-busy-schedule-excuse" isn't likely to mollify anyone this time around, if it ever did.

Forgetting the real reason that Ford should be there (i.e. to support Toronto's gay community), it also makes sense for purely political reasons. If city council's voting record over the last half-year or so has taught us anything, it's that the city has grown tired of the mayor's stubbornness. As such, Ford's support of Pride would be symbolic in more ways than one.

Will Rob Ford take the opportunity to live up to his putative position as leader of this city and attend one of its most important events in 2012? Place your bets.

Photo by BruceK in the blogTO Flickr pool

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