Glasgow & West Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon addresses Pride Glasgow 2017

Nicola Sturgeon at Pride Glasgow
Image caption Ms Sturgeon addressed crowds on Glasgow Green on Saturday afternoon

Nicola Sturgeon has become the first serving first minister to speak at the Pride Glasgow festival.

Thousands of people paraded through the streets of the city as the annual celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex culture got under way.

Ms Sturgeon told the crowds gathered later on Glasgow Green: "Love is Love, wherever you are and whoever you are."

She said there was still work to be done to achieve true equality.

This year's festival focuses on family life.

Organisers said the message was that everyone should have the chance to enjoy family life without discrimination or persecution.

Image caption The Pride Glasgow parade was colourful and lively despite the rain
Image caption The parade wound through the heart of the city centre on Saturday afternoon
Image caption A dog show was one of the events due to be held

Ms Sturgeon described Scotland as one of the "best countries in the world" for LGBT-plus rights but said it was important to "keep making progress".

She said: "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."

Earlier, she had tweeted that it was a "privilege" to be invited to speak at the event.

The annual parade set off from Glasgow Green at midday on Saturday and snaked through the city centre.

The two-day festival features Irish girl band B*Witched, Finnish singer Saara Aalto and former N-Trance singer Kelly Llorenna. There is also a dog show and fairground.

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.

In the aftermath of events in Spain, Police Scotland said security was a priority at big events taking place this weekend - including Pride Glasgow and the Edinburgh Festival.

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.

"I'm quite confident that they'll be very successful events and everyone attending them will enjoy them."

Image copyright PA
Image caption ScotRail has decorated five trains with special rainbow-coloured logos in support of Scotland's largest LGBTI festival
Image copyright ScottishPower
Image caption ScottishPower headquarters in Glasgow will be lit with rainbow lights

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