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German team to fly rainbow flag, "making mark" against homophobia

Germany's St. Pauli football club plans on further supporting the gay community by permanently flying the rainbow flag -- which symbolizes gay pride -- at its stadium from this season.

"The club has been active for many years against homophobia and discrimination," St. Pauli's vice-president Gernot Stenger told the club website. "With this flag we are giving this highly visible sign that these issues have great importance at St. Pauli and we are working hard on them."

A member of the club's gay and lesbian fan club, Dirk Brullau, backed the initiative and said it would be a "quantum leap for the football world" if a Bundesliga team followed suit.

Hamburg's St. Pauli, which enjoys a cult following due to the skull and crossbones shown on the flag of its supporters, plays in Germany's second tier.

Its move comes less than two months after American Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay male athlete to play in a U.S. professional match.

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