NICOLA Sturgeon is to lead the Pride Glasgow march for the first time as its Grand Marshal, conspicuously championing LBGTI rights at the same time Donald Trump is in Scotland.

The First Minister will lead Scotland's largest annual event for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex pride through the city’s streets to Kelvingrove Park tomorrow.

She said society “must champion equality and fairness at all time”.

Earlier this year Mr Trump signed a memorandum banning most transgender people from serving in the US military.

The Pride organisers have named her honorary Grand Marshal in recognition of her long-standing support for LGBTI equality, including the delivery of same-sex marriage.

Although Ms Sturgeon addressed the march last year, but this is the first time she has had such a prominent role. leading it alongside 200 LGBTI young people from across Scotland.

More than 50,000 people are expected to watch 8000 marchers and floats, with the event also featuring Europe’s largest trans flag in support of transgender rights.

Ms Sturgeon, who has long criticised Mr Trump’s attacks on minority groups, will not meet the President this weekend when he stays at his Turnberry golf resort.

The Huffington Post reported last night that Mr Trump cannot Ms Sturgeon either, and frequently wastes time in phone calls with the Prime Minister on the subject.

It quoted a Whitehall staffer saying: “He totally hates Nicola Sturgeon. He spends lots of his time bitching about Sturgeon. He loathes Salmond too. But why spend so much time talking about Sturgeon in a phone call with Theresa May?”

Speaking ahead of the march, Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m proud that Scotland is considered to be one of the most progressive countries in Europe regarding LGBTI equality.

“Pride Glasgow is a fantastic event that brings communities together and celebrates all that LGBTI people bring to Scottish life.

“As a society we must champion equality and fairness at all times and defend the progress that has been made.

“I am pleased to be named as the first ever honorary Grand Marshal of Pride Glasgow and I look forward to joining young LGBTI people to mark Scotland’s Year of Young People.”

Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Pride Glasgow, said: “We’re delighted to name First Minister Nicola Sturgeon the first honorary Grand Marshal of Pride Glasgow in recognition of her longstanding support of LGBTI equality. We can’t wait to welcome her, and tens of thousands of others to the Glasgow Pride celebrations this weekend.”

Suki Wan MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “It’s an honour to have been asked to accompany the First Minister to open this year’s Pride Glasgow.

“Everyone in Scotland should feel safe and happy; safe to be who they are, and to love who they love. We know that isn’t the case for everyone, despite enormous steps which have been taken in recent years. That is why Pride is so important.”

Green MSP Patrick Harvie will tell marchers the Pride event must avoid becoming a “bland celebration”with corporate sponsors and should campaign for “liberation for all of us”, with an emphasis on making schools and workplaces safe for LGBTI people.

He said: "Pride began as a movement of protest, and it must retain that spirit. We must avoid becoming a bland celebration marked by corporate endorsements but without the angry impatience needed to continue the task.  

"We hear bland speeches at Pride from politicians who continue to select prejudiced, anti-equality candidates at every level of our politics, and homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are still given a ‘free pass’ in most political parties.

"We see corporate merchandise and big business floats at Pride, promoting companies which still fund the far right press and their campaigns of hate.”