'Show homophobia the red card' says German gay community
Thousands marched in Berlin Saturday where the city's traditional Gay Pride rally this year targeted homophobia in sport.
Activists in Germany, hosts of the 2011 women's football world cup opening Sunday, called for discrimination against gay people "to be shown the red card" and a greater acceptance of sexual diversity in the sporting world.
"For the most part, 'coming out' is still the exception in sport," organisers said, particularly in the football world where FIFA remains silent on the issue of homosexuality, they added.
Participants, many of them in costume, were accompanied by more than 50 musical floats as they marched through the streets of the capital ahead of an evening event due to be attended by Berlin's gay mayor Klaus Wowereit and German Football Association president Theo Zwanziger.
The annual event is known as Christopher Street Day.
It commemorates the riots that followed the June 1969 police raid on a gay bar in Christopher Street, the Stonewall Inn.
The riots marked the first time the gay community fought back against police harassment and effectively launched the modern gay rights movement.
In New York itself Saturday there were celebrations after the state senate approved a bill legalising gay marriage.
Christopher Street Day is celebrated across Germany, notably in Cologne, considered the country's gay capital, which marks the event on July 3.
© 2011 AFP