Organisers of the first gay pride event in the Hebrides have called for “understanding and acceptance” after a religious leader condemned the event as “sad and shameful”.
Reverend Graeme Craig, minister of Stornoway Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), made the comments as preparation for the event in Stornoway on October 6 get underway.
A parade is planned through the town in the first event of its kind in the Western Isles.
Describing the event as “sad and shameful”, Reverend Craig added: “Whatever form sexual immorality may take, it is nothing to be proud about.
“It will point people, particularly the young, on a wrong direction when it comes to identity, relationships and sexual fulfilment.
“The sooner society returns to recognising basic biology and promoting faithful, monogamous, heterosexual marriage, the more content it will be.
“Following our Maker’s Instruction is always the wise thing to do.”
Reverend Craig is among the group of ministers who split from the main Free Church of Scotland in 2000 with the “Continuing” branch known for its ultra-conservative views.
It recently objected to the creation of a mosque in Stornoway, which it described as a “most unwelcome development”.
Organisers of Hebridean Pride said it was “only a matter of time” before the church commented on the parade.
A post on the event’s Facebook page called for details of the October 6 parade to be widely shared.
“We can make this not a big event now, but a HUGE EVENT and maybes just maybes... some understanding and acceptance can sneak into our lovely island,” it added.
Meanwhile, a petition has been lodged against the Proud Ness event in the Highland capital, which is also due to be held on October 6.
Donald Morrison, a home mission worker with the Free Church of Scotland, collected just under 600 signatures from those against the event on moral and religious grounds.
Three counter petitions were launched in support of Proud Ness in response to the Mr Morrison’s protest.
This week, the Press and Journal reported that Mr Morrison received an offensive package in the post.
The package contained what appeared to be excrement.