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Raymond Buchanan reports
"Thousands gathered to celebrate the role of gay people"
 real 56k

Saturday, 23 June, 2001, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
March call for gay law reforms
Marchers in Edinburgh
The march is designed as a "celebration"
Marchers taking part in a gay pride procession in Edinburgh say homosexuals are still being discriminated against.

They have called for Westminster to repeal Section 28 in England and Wales.

The gay and lesbian group Pride Scotland said it hoped its seventh march and rally in the city would attract a record number of people.

Gay couple
Marchers want Section 28 abolished across the UK
The hour-long march set off at 1300 BST from Market Street and ended with a festival in the New Town.

The march was the first since the Scottish Parliament voted to repeal Section 28 - the law which banned the promotion of the acceptability of a homosexuality lifestyle in Scotland's schools.

The marchers were joined by Members of the Scottish Parliament, including Robin Harper and Tommy Sheridan.

Organisers said the event is more about celebrating the role of gay people in all walks of life than politics.

However, campaigners remain concerned that discrimination is still not outlawed.

Closer relationships

The marchers in Edinburgh said they wanted to send a signal to Westminster that they want to see the abolition of Section 28 extended to England and Wales.

The UK Government has indicated it wants to do this - but such a measure was not included in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday.

Lothian and Borders Police last week launched an initiative aimed at fostering closer relationships with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community.

The scheme wants to encourage the victims of homophobic crimes to report them to the force.

They will be able to report their experiences through a third party organisation.

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Gay march in Edinburgh
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