Stornoway pride goes ahead despite protests
Nearly 200 people marched through Stornoway yesterday in the first pride parade in the Outer Hebrides.
The brightly coloured marchers, many carrying the LGBT rainbow flag, laughed and smiled as they walked through the Lewis town.
A handful of churchgoers staged a small protest after a last-minute attempt to have the council ban the event failed.
Pride Hebrides co-organiser Susanne Erbida said: “It’s a peaceful walk celebrating diversity and that we are able to do this on these islands. I don’t know if it would have been possible 20 years ago.”
Drag act Ewan James Armstrong, stage name The Duchess, grew up on Lewis but has spent the last 11 years in Edinburgh.
He said: “This is a landmark. I never thought it would happen,” said the 37-year-old gay man. Reverend Greg MacDonald of the Free Church (Continuing) in Ness stood by placards proclaiming the traditional view of marriage.
“It genuinely grieves me that this is happening, but it does not surprise me,” he said. “Sin does not surprise me.”
While Rev Graeme Craig, Minister of Stornoway Free Church (Continuing), said: “This is a sad day for the islands. This event is sad and shameful.”
Protest: Rev Greg MacDonald
Supporters wave flags