Edinburgh hosts Pride of Scotland

Joe Roberts June 25, 2007
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The Scottish capital was transformed into a gay village this weekend as Pride Scotia took to the streets of Edinburgh.

Around 5,000 revellers gathered at midday outside the offices of Edinburgh council before setting off for an afternoon of organised festivities in Pilrig Park.

The parade was originally planned to go along the Mound, before heading down Princes Street, but the route was shortened due to poor weather conditions.

Festivities at the park went on despite the typically Scottish downpours.

Entertainment included music, the Loud and Proud Choir, games of touch rugby organised by the Caledonians Thebans RFC, and a dedicated Youth Space.

Last year nine members of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service were disciplined for refusing to hand out leaflets at Pride Scotia in Glasgow.

The Cowcaddens fire-fighters had been asked to hand out leaflets at the rally in a publicity exercise but refused on moral grounds.

Fire chiefs in Strathclyde decided all nine would receive diversity training.

By contrast, at this year’s event Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue service set up a recruitment stand at the festival and firefighters from local Macdonald Road Fire Station carried out a dramatic car accident rescue demonstration.

Staff also joined in the Pride march with fire engine in tow and promotional ‘fire hats’ and public information leaflets on fire safety were handed out.

Also taking part were the Conservative Party, whose stall was hosted by Henri Shaw, Chairwoman of Conservative Future Edinburgh.

“I am proud to be a member of the LGBT community, as well as a Conservative,” said Anastasia, a volunteer on the stall.

“We have come a long way since the dark days of Section 28; the lowering of the age of consent in 1994 and voting with the Government for civil partnerships a decade later shows that we can no longer wear the anti-gay tag. What better way to celebrate this than at the biggest Pride event in Scotland.”

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