More than 7000 march in Pride Glasgow amid protests over Russian law

A crowd of 7500 people showed their support for Russians who are facing discrimination while taking part in Scotland's largest gay pride event.

Thousands of people at Pride Glasgow cheered when the issue was raised by various speakers and performers.

Bruce Fraser, the chief executive of Gay Men's Health, addressed the crowd in Russian with a phrase translated to mean: "Everyone at Pride Glasgow supports you and you are in our thoughts."

The event started with a parade through the streets of Glasgow followed by numerous acts entertaining the crowds from the stage at Glasgow Green.

Alastair Smith, chief executive of Pride Glasgow, said: "It's hard to know that people in other countries haven't got the opportunity to even hold a Pride. It reminds us, as an organisation, that there is a need for Gay Pride and that it should continue."

The event in Glasgow took place the day after 150 equality campaigners gathered to protest outside the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh against anti-gay laws in the country.

Gay people have been physically and verbally attacked in the country, particularly since the law came into affect.

Calls have also been made for Glasgow City Council leaders to cut ties with Rostov-on-Don, the Russian city with which it has been twinned since 1986.

A petition has been signed by more than 800 people and Glasgow's Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty, has now written to the mayor of Rostov-on-Don about the new law.

Stephen Fry also raised his concerns about the situation in Russia in a strongly worded open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this week.

The writer, actor and television presenter had called for next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi to be taken away from Russia but believes it is unlikely any nation would boycott the event.

He has suggested that athletes could make a salute or gesture when they win a medal to bring the issue into the spotlight at the Games.

Fry was among hundreds of people protesting in London on Saturday afternoon against Russia's anti-gay stance.

Speaking from the demonstration in Whitehall, he said: "All homophobic regimes say this — they say they do it for the children. They do this to stop children being propogandised at by gay people.

"That's not the situation at all. What they have done is unleashed thugs who have done unspeakable things to teenagers, lured them, beaten them, humiliated them, tortured them. This continues to be the case.

"Lesbians have been raped 'correctively' — as the horrible phrase is. The police are doing nothing about it.

"The fact that the law says it is illegal to discuss homosexuality as a normal practice to anybody under the age of 18 is a preposterous thing."

Fry also said the idea that children to gay couples would grow up being homosexuals was "ridiculous".

"You're born gay or you're not," he said. "Get over it."

GALLERY: Pride Glasgow 2013 in pictures

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