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Mexico coach defends antigay slur

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera has defended World Cup fans chanting an antigay slur, which is under investigation by the sport’s international governing body.

Mexico fans shouting the slur as the rival team’s goalkeeper takes a goal kick is “not that bad,” Herrera said June 20.

“We’re with our fans. It’s something they do to pressure the opposing goalkeeper,” he said.

Fare, the European fan-monitoring group, reported the chants at Mexico’s 1-0 win over Cameroon in Natal, Brazil.

FIFA subsequently opened a disciplinary case against the Mexico federation, which is responsible for the behavior of its fans inside stadiums.

The chant originated with fans of Mexican club Chivas and became popular during a Mexico-United States qualifying match for the 2004 Athens Olympics played in Guadalajara. It has become a common chant at professional matches across Mexico.

“That was how the chant was created and it was adopted by the other fan groups in Mexico,” Herrera said.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff have pledged to use the World Cup as a platform to fight racism and discrimination.

Neo-Nazi violence prompts LGBT progress

The Mongolian government is considering the implementation of nondiscrimination legislation to protect its LGBT citizens in the face of rising neo-Nazi violence.

The legislation, put forward in May, includes language that protects against crimes of bigotry, hate and those committed against migrant communities. It is likely to pass with extensive amendments.

The law was proposed in response to the outcry within Mongolia’s LGBT community after a number of brutal attacks by neo-Nazi groups in the capital Ulaanbaatar.

Nationalist neo-Nazi groups have been gaining power in Mongolia in recent years in an effort to maintain cultural and racial purity. They see LGBT tolerance as a negative influence of Western values and retaliate against the LGBT community by threatening, harming and discriminating against them.

Discrimination against LGBT individuals is common in Mongolia, where homosexuality has been banned since the 12th century. Cases of discrimination and crimes committed against the LGBT community are underreported due to social stigma and a homophobic justice system.

Attacks on LGBT individuals since 2011 have captured the attention of the Mongolian government and brought the issue of hate crimes to the forefront.

Mayor, diplomats join Pride in Greece

Police say more than 6,000 people marched June 21 through the streets of Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, in its third gay Pride parade.

Taking part was Mayor Yiannis Boutaris and the consuls of the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland and Portugal.

U.S. Consul Robert P. Sanders carried a banner that read “Diplomats for Thessaloniki Pride.”

The mayor said he and diplomats took part this year “because we support diversity and freedom of choice, both in sex and religion.”

The march again was condemned by the local Orthodox Church, whose leader, Bishop Anthimos, described it as a “promotion of perversion.”

Police maintained a heavy presence to deter antigay attacks. None occurred.

— compiled by Larry Nichols

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