Stephen Fry, Whoopi Goldberg And Olympia Dukakis Defend Pride Parade Over Religious Opposition

stephen-fry-creative-commonsIt’s nice to know that when gays are in trouble, they can count on Stephen Fry to come to their rescue like a dandy superhero.

This time he’s helping out a group of church-besieged paraders in Cyprus. The island republic is holding its first pride parade at the end of May in Nicosia, and various religious groups are awfully grumpy about it.

One Christian Orthodox group is threatening a counter-demonstration. Another issued a statement about “moral aberration” and “lifestyle choice.” These are forgivable sentiments if they came from ignorant time-travelers, but in this day and age there’s simply no excuse for attitudes like that. Cyprus isn’t an isolated backwater, it’s a member of the European Union for heaven’s sake.

“I encourage all Cypriots of whatever sexuality to join in the Pride March to show their support for an open, free, tolerant and enlightened Cyprus,” Fry told local inkblogger Cyprus Daily.

Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis, who is of Greek descent, also had harsh words for antigay extremists: “We have a short period of time here and to be deprived of anything – out of what people consider religious principles – is repugnant.”

Even Whoopi Goldberg chimed in, for reasons that are a little unclear, but we’re certainly not complaining. “You have every right to be here like everybody else. And the church should know better,” she said. Whoopi has a track record of speaking up for put-upon queers in foreign lands.

Meanwhile the church is refusing to budge. “Men and women, misled by foreign groups or confused by their own conscience are protesting and claiming that homosexuality is normal and that it should be socially accepted and legally protected. To that end they are also planning a so called ‘pride parade,'” said a group of bishops calling themselves the “Holy Synod,” which sounds like a Final Fantasy boss.