Nicola Sturgeon says it was a ‘privilege’ to speak at Glasgow Pride
Nicola Sturgeon has become the first serving Scottish First Minister to address Glasgow Pride and said it was a “privilege” to speak at the event.
Ms Sturgeon joined thousands who took to the streets of Glasgow for Pride, wore a rainbow floral necklace and even got her face painted.
Speaking at Glasgow Green, Ms Sturgeon said: “Love is Love, wherever you are and whoever you are.”
Going on she added: “My pledge as your first minister today is this: as long as I hold this office we will continue to do everything we need to do to make sure Scotland is not just one of the best countries in the world, but the best country in the world for LGBTI rights.”
Organisers had said the Pride event was intended to send a message that nobody should feel unable to enjoy family life scared of discrimination.
The Armed Forces also took part in Pride for the first time today.
The Army in Scotland tweeted: “It’s @prideglasgow weekend and the Armed Forces will be taking part in the parade for the first time in Scotland! #LGBT #PrideGlasgow”
The event, which drew massive crowds, set off at 12pm on Saturday at Glasgow Green.
It will see B*Witched perform, as well as Finnish bisexual singer Saara Aalto and Kelly Llorenna.
The two-day event also includes a dog show, fairground and a market, family area and youth spaces.
Police had ramped up security for the event in the wake of a terrorist incident in Barcelona which left 14 dead and many more injured.
Assistant Chief Constable Nelson Telfer said: “The measures that we’ve put in place for the Edinburgh festival and the Pride march in Glasgow are proportionate to the events.
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“I’m quite confident that they’ll be very successful events and everyone attending them will enjoy them.”
In a wide-ranging Q&A with PinkNews readers prior to this year’s snap General Election, the SNP leader made renewed call for Gender X passports, asked for a “full and independent investigation” into the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya, and commited to helping increase trans* visibility in political elections.
“I’m proud of the huge progress that has been made in Scotland in recent years, and the role that the SNP has played in making that change happen – transforming Scotland into one of the best countries in the world for LGBTI equality,” she said.
“The SNP is committed to securing full equality for LGBTI people. Equality and human rights are fundamental to our values and aims as a progressive social democratic party, and we have a strong record of championing LGBTI equality in government and at Westminster.”
More controversially, Ms Sturgeon claimed that Labour’s Kezia Dugdale had used a row over homophobic comments as a “smokescreen”.
Earlier this year, Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow has become the first Scottish Episcopal Church to begin taking marriage bookings from same-sex couples.
The lay representative of the cathedral congregation, Dr Beth Routledge said: “When members of the congregation go to Glasgow Pride later this year, we’ll have a real sense of having helped to bring about greater equality for members of the LGBT communities.”