Gay pride rally in Edinburgh draws hundreds

HUNDREDS of people have marched through Scotland’s capital city as part of a colourful national gay pride event.
The Scottish Parliament. Picture: TSPLThe Scottish Parliament. Picture: TSPL
The Scottish Parliament. Picture: TSPL

The Pride Scotia march, which celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities, began outside the Scottish Parliament, before making its way through Edinburgh’s old town to Bristo Square.

Participants were dressed in colourful costumes, with several sporting bridal veils in a nod to the current push for the legalisation of gay marriage.

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Same-sex marriage was a focus of the parade, with a strong-turnout from the Equal Marriage campaign group.

Legislation for gay marriage will be brought before Holyrood in the Scottish Government’s Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, following months of debate and consultation over the issue.

The bi-annual march is aimed at promoting equality and diversity, and protecting the future of the LGBT community.

The event included participants from a number of groups including the Equal Marriage campaign, the Equality Network, Yes LGBT, part of the Yes Scotland pro-independence campaign, pro-union group Better Together, the Scottish Socialist Workers party, charity Stonewall and various trade unions.

The Yes LGBT group used the event to gather support for equal rights to be enshrined in a Scottish constitution, should the country vote for independence in the 2014 referendum.

Toni Giugliano, a gay activist and Yes Scotland’s sectoral groups co-ordinator, said: “We’ve come a long way in such a short time - decriminalisation, the repeal of Section 28, transgender rights, equalities laws, gay adoption, and we’re now on the verge of equal marriage. We’ll complete this journey by campaigning for equality in a written constitution.

“Scotland can be a beacon of equality across the globe but we need powers to do more.”