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Church of Scotland minister to speak at Pride festival

Rev Peter Nimmo said it was an 'honour' to be asked to make a speech at the Inverness event.

Pride: Rev Peter Nimmo will address crowds.
Pride: Rev Peter Nimmo will address crowds. Church of Scotland/CC

A Church of Scotland minister will highlight the importance of challenging "hatred, discrimination and exclusion" at a Pride festival this weekend.

Reverend Peter Nimmo said he accepted an invitation to be a keynote speaker at the opening of Proud Ness in Inverness in a "gesture of solidarity and support" for people who have felt they have been discriminated against and misunderstood by the church.

The minister of Old High St Stephen's Church in Inverness said it was an "honour" to be asked to speak at the event on Saturday because he believed that everyone, regardless of who they are, is of equal worth.

He said: "I was asked by the event organisers to say a few words at the start of the parade in order to show support for the LGBT community in Inverness and the Highlands.

"I feel honoured to be invited and pleased to hear that a number of clergy from the Church of Scotland and other denominations will be attending.

"I would encourage as many ministers as possible to come along."

Mr Nimmo will be speaking in a personal capacity and his gesture follows a decision made by the General Assembly in 2017 to endorse a call on the church to take stock of its history of discrimination at different levels against gay people and apologise individually and corporately, while seeking to do better.

In August, Scott Burton became the first Kirk minister to open a Pride event in Scotland in Perth.

He apologised on behalf of his own church, St Matthew's to the gathered crowds"for all the pain we have caused you and which we continue to inflict on you".

https://stv.tv/news/north/1426831-church-of-scotland-minister-apologises-to-lgbt-community/ | default

Mr Nimmo, who was ordained in 1996 and has served churches in Edinburgh and Glasgow, said he had been involved in several Highland LGBT Forum events over the years.

He took part in a seminar on LGBT and faith matters in 2012 and spoke at a vigil following the shootings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June 2016.

He added: "Whatever our religion or worldview, each of us should search our consciences, search our beliefs, and ensure that we do speak up against hatred, discrimination and exclusion.

"And we might, for the sake of love, need to change our attitudes and take care with our words and our actions if we are to truly show that we believe that every person, whoever they are, is of equal worth."

Proud Ness' parade will start at Falcon Square, where the minister will address the crowd before it makes its way to Eden Court Theatre.

Organised by Highland LGBT Forum, which campaigns for the fair treatment of all LGBT people, the main event is being held at Eden Court and an after-party will take place at the Mercure Hotel.

Up to 2000 people are expected to take part in the parade.

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