Stornoway pride goes ahead de­spite protests

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS -

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

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