HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition opposing a planned parade in Inverness city centre to celebrate gay culture, describing it as unsavoury and deeply offensive.
The organisers of Proud Ness, set to take place on October 6, have applied for permission to stage a march along High Street to Eden Court Theatre.
But Donald Morrison, a home mission worker with the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), has gathered about 600 names on a petition opposing the parade on moral, religious and biblical grounds and also written a letter to Highland Council.
Mr Morrison, of Old Edinburgh Road, Inverness, claimed in gay marches elsewhere members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community flaunted their immorality in the most extravagant ways imaginable.
"This becomes evident especially in city centres when they thrust lewdness in the faces of men, women and children alike by frolicking unashamedly on rainbow-coloured floats making obscene sexual gestures," he said.
"If this unsavoury event is given planning permission then these desperately sad scenes are now likely to be witnessed very tragically in Inverness on October 6."
Mr Morrison said the city streets were public places and should be kept child-friendly, family-friendly and people-friendly but maintained this was not the case when immoral behaviour and lifestyles were promoted in their spaces.
The petition includes signatures from across the region including Ullapool and Skye, although Mr Morrison said most were from Inverness and included Christians and non-Christians. It has been handed in to the council.
A spokeswoman for the Highland LGBTI forum, which is organising the rally, said Mr Morrison was entitled to his opinions,
"I have no problem with him or the people who have signed the petition holding their views and I totally respect that but there are a lot of other people who don’t hold those views," she said.
"You will always get people who don’t like LGBT stuff."
Referring to his comments about people frolicking on rainbow-coloured floats, she said: "Basically this is a celebration and if he doesn’t like people dancing and enjoying themselves, I could see that would be a problem for him."
She said there was nothing illegal about the proposed parade.
"Obviously, nothing untoward will be happening during the march," she said. "It will be totally family-friendly.
"He has a moral objection which is his personal objection and he is perfectly entitled to that. He should not try to enforce his moral objection on everyone else."
Eastgate Shopping Centre has given its permission for the march to start at Falcon Square.
The main event hub will be at Eden Court with stalls in the foyer, and lectures, exhibitions, screenings and debates in the La Scala Cinema and the MacLean Room.