Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Crowds turn out for Pride Edinburgh

Pride Edinburgh
Image caption The Pride Edinburgh event had its very own 'Queen' leading the parade

Large crowds have turned out in the Scottish capital for this year's Pride Edinburgh event.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) festival was first held 21 years ago in Scotland.

Those attending paid tribute to the victims of last month's shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Speeches were made outside the City Chambers before the march set off, with Scotland urged to "reject the politics of hate and division".

The parade started a little later than in previous years because of the official opening of the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament by the Queen.

The rainbow flag was raised at Holyrood to mark the event.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright GPA

Politicians including Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie were in attendance at Pride after the opening of parliament.

Ms Dugdale spoke before the march headed off and said: "I'm here to march with you today in pride and solidarity for those who lost their lives in Orlando who we continue to grieve for today.

"We march in pride and anger at all those countries around the world where it is still illegal to be gay and we must redouble our efforts every single day to change that."

SNP MEP Alyn Smith, who was given a standing ovation after a speech in the European Parliament this week, also spoke to the thousands gathered.

He said: "Scotland is a great place to be but there are a lot of people feeling nervous in Scotland right now about where the UK's going after a vote to leave the European Union which Scotland rejected emphatically.

"Pride is important to celebrate where we are but also to remember how hard we had to work to get here and to remember that change is not irreversible.

"Let us say loudly and proudly that Scotland rejects the politics of hate and division and we are a welcoming European nation."

The marchers headed down the Royal Mile and past Holyrood then took a route through Abbeyhill towards Leith Walk and The Omni Centre.

The centre and nearby venues were hosting various events, with the main stage is situated in the Jam House venue.

This is the first major Pride event in Scotland since 49 people were killed in the terror attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12.

Brett Herriot, chair of the Pride Edinburgh committee, said: "We have Orlando in the forefront of our minds this year.

"The entire event is dedicated to them. One of our venues is having a tribute to them where all 49 names will be displayed."

Hundreds of people attended vigils in Glasgow and Edinburgh in the days after the massacre.

Last Saturday, thousands gathered in London amid increased security to celebrate Pride in the UK capital.

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