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Kezia Dugdale to join thousands expected at Inverness Pride event

The former Scottish Labour leader will join hundreds of attendees.
The former Scottish Labour leader will join hundreds of attendees.

The former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will attend the Proud Ness event in the Highland capital today.

The march has been organised by the Highland LGBT Forum and is the first major Pride event in the city for 15 years.

Organisers expect around 2,000 people to attend with more events later in the day at Eden Court which will be followed by an after-party at the Mercure hotel.

The event was challenged by Donald Morrison, a home mission worker with the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).

He handed in a 564-signature petition to Highland Council’s legal services department to protest against the event on “biblical, religious and moral grounds” asking the council to refuse permission for it


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But he was rebuffed by the local authority and instead Convenor Bill Lobban announced that: “One of the Council’s goals is to promote fairness and welcome diversity and I am delighted to agree to fly the Rainbow Flag at both the Town House in Inverness and at Council HQ to show support for the Proud Ness event on 6 October.”

Ms Dugdale said the attempt to halt the march demonstrates that prejudice still needs to be combated.

She said: “I am looking forward to joining thousands of supporters at Proud Ness to show solidarity with those fighting for equality.

“Pride started off as a protest against discrimination, and the opposition to the Inverness event shows exactly why it is necessary to continue campaigning.

“Pride is an opportunity to come together and celebrate the progress made towards equality, while also recognising how much more we must do to make Scotland a more tolerant and inclusive country.”

Also today, Stornoway will see its very first gay pride parade which has come under attack from local church leaders including those who belong to the same church as Mr Morrison.

Rev. Graeme Craig, Minister of Stornoway Free Church (Continuing), said in a statement: “Whatever form sexual immorality may take, it is nothing to be proud about.

He went on to describe the event as “sad and shameful,” adding “sooner society returns to recognising basic biology and promoting faithful, monogamous, heterosexual marriage, the more content people will be.”

However, Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan has backed the march sent a message to organisers saying it is “a very welcome sign of how the islands recognise diversity as a strength”.

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