Scottish Leader Makes History by Heading Up Pride Parade

Glasgow Pride

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – the head of government for Scotland – led Glasgow’s Pride parade Saturday, becoming the first serving prime minister or first minister in the U.K. to lead any Pride event.

Sturgeon, who heads the Scottish National Party, is an outspoken supporter of LGBT equality and a major critic of Donald Trump, who was visiting her country this weekend. She had no plans to meet with him.

As honorary grand marshal of the parade, she dressed in a T-shirt bearing the words “Choose Love” in rainbow colors and marched alongside Suki Wan, leader of the Scottish Youth Parliament, The Guardian reports. She addressed participants after the march made its way through Glasgow’s streets, getting in a jab at Trump.

“I find it hard to believe that the president of the United States, with all the big, important issues that he has to deal with on a daily basis, finds the time to rant about me on the telephone to [U.K. Prime Minister] Theresa May,” she said, according to The Guardian. “If it is true, I suppose I should take it as a compliment. I certainly don’t spend that much time talking about him.” She also said she is a “wee bit tickled” that Trump complains about her.

Several members of the Scottish Parliament joined in the parade as well, including representatives of the Green, Liberal Democratic, and Conservative parties as well as her own, the paper reports.  With an estimated attendance of 8,000, it is the largest Pride event in Scotland.

Sturgeon called it “a real honor” to be asked to lead the event, Scotland’s Daily Record reports.  "Pride marches are all about celebrating and affirming values that I think are important to many people across the country,” she added. "Values like tolerance and respect and diversity and love, and I think it's an appropriate thing for me as first minister to be part of today and I'm proud to do so. … In many parts of the world these principles are under threat, more so now than they have been in my entire lifetime. So as first minister of Scotland it's important for me to stand up for these principles and values."

In her previous position as health minister, Sturgeon helped bring marriage equality to Scotland. As first minister, she plans to introduce legislation to assure equal rights for transgender people.

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