Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, has made UK history by leading the Glasgow Pride march, instead of meeting with US President Donald Trump during his trip to the region.
The controversial American leader is visiting Scotland at the same time as the country’s largest LGBTQ pride event, which is taking place in Glasgow this weekend. Trump’s tour has been followed by protests in the UK in response to his discriminatory policies against numerous groups, including the LGBTQ community.
On Saturday, Sturgeon did not meet with him but rather chose to lead the parade through Glasgow as the Pride’s official Grand Marshal. She wore a white t-shirt with a message printed in rainbow colours, proclaiming “Choose love”.
Sturgeon happily mingled among the crowd to pose for pictures with members of the LGBTQ community and walked along the route. She also addressed the parade atop a bus covered in rainbow balloons and LGBTQ flags.
According the Equality Network, she told participants: “I’m proud to be here with you today and be the first head of government to lead a Pride march in the UK.”
She added that, “Scotland is one of the best countries in the world for LGBTI equality, but we still have work to do for trans rights.”
In a possible dig at Trump, Sturgeon was quoted by the Tie campaign as saying: “From the bottom of my heart I want to tell you how proud I am to be here today – there is nowhere I would rather be than here with you.”
According to some media reports, there is a mutual dislike between Trump and Sturgeon, who has been critical of the US president. A source told Huffington Post that Trump “totally hates Nicola Sturgeon.”
In November last year, Sturgeon apologised to gay and bisexual men who were historically convicted of now-abolished sexual offences on behalf of the Scottish government.
The apology coincided with the introduction of legislation to provide gay men convicted under historical discriminatory laws in Scotland with an automatic pardon.