Nicola Sturgeon at Glasgow Pride: I’m proud of Scotland’s LGBTI record

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addresses the assembled crowd at Glasgow Pride.  (Photo by Robert Perry/Getty Images)
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addresses the assembled crowd at Glasgow Pride. (Photo by Robert Perry/Getty Images)
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Nicola Sturgeon has said there is still work to be done to tackle discrimination and achieve true LGBTI equality, as she became the first serving first minister to speak at a pride event.

The SNP leader described Scotland as one of the most progressive countries in Europe but said it was important to continue to “strive” for equality for those in the LGBTI community.

The First Minister spoke at Glasgow Green after thousands of people paraded through the streets of the city for the annual pride event.

Pride Glasgow, Scotland’s largest LGBTI festival, is taking place over the course of Saturday and Sunday.

In a statement released by the Scottish Government, Ms Sturgeon said: “I am proud Scotland is now considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI equality and I am honoured to speak at Pride Glasgow - the first time a head of government anywhere in the UK has addressed a pride event.

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People take part in the Pride Glasgow parade. Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire

People take part in the Pride Glasgow parade. Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire

“We must not be passive, but continually strive to advance LGBTI equality. For as long as I am First Minister, that’s what we will strive to do.

“Until Scotland is a place where no one suffers hate, fear, discrimination or prejudice because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, then we have still work to do.

“Wherever there are legislative or regulatory barriers to achieving true equality, we will seek to remove them. I am determined that my government will do all it can to celebrate diversity in everything we say and do.”

The First Minister had previously tweeted it would be a “privilege” to speak at the event.

Until Scotland is a place where no one suffers hate, fear, discrimination or prejudice because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, then we have still work to do.

Nicola Sturgeon

Earlier, marchers kicked off the two-day festival with a parade through the heart of the city.

They traced a route looping from Glasgow Green, through the Merchant City towards the city centre, returning past the River Clyde to the pride site.

Organisers said before the event they expected more than 5,000 people to take part in the parade, with 10 times that number thought to watch it as it snaked its way through the city.

A range of entertainment, headlined by 90s Irish pop sensation B*Witched, has been scheduled over the two days at Glasgow Green.

People in fancy dress take part in the Pride Glasgow parade.: David Cheskin/PA Wire

People in fancy dress take part in the Pride Glasgow parade.: David Cheskin/PA Wire

X Factor runner-up Saara Aalto and dance singer Kelly Llorenna were also on the line-up.

Those attending the event also have access to a market, community stalls, family area, youth space and fairground rides once inside the designated pride site.

Elsewhere in Glasgow, some businesses have been showing their support for the event.

Energy firm ScottishPower joined in the celebrations by lighting up their St Vincent Street headquarters in pride colours for the weekend.

And Silverburn shopping centre previously announced plans to install a ‘’rainbow crossing’’ in front of the building over the course of the event.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon waves as she addresses the assembled crowd at Glasgow Pride. (Photo by Robert Perry/Getty Images)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon waves as she addresses the assembled crowd at Glasgow Pride. (Photo by Robert Perry/Getty Images)

An anti-Nazi message on display as people take part in the Pride Glasgow parade through the city centre. Picture:: David Cheskin/PA Wire

An anti-Nazi message on display as people take part in the Pride Glasgow parade through the city centre. Picture:: David Cheskin/PA Wire