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Chevy's Olympic ads feature gay couples amid criticism of Russia's law restricting gay rights

NEW YORK, N.Y. - While several Olympic sponsors have spoken out against Russia's restrictions on gay rights ahead of the Sochi Winter Games, Chevrolet is rolling out two ads during the U.S. broadcast of the opening ceremony on Friday that feature gay couples.

Rob Ford's refusal to attend pride parade not homophobic, says brother Doug

TORONTO - Toronto's scandal-plagued mayor and his bombastic older brother are back in the spotlight after making controversial comments about the city's prominent gay pride festival. Mayor Rob Ford has long been at loggerheads with Toronto's queer community for his long-standing refusal to take part in the gay pride parade that marches through the downtown core each summer.

Lawmakers urge EU to fight homophobia

European lawmakers on Tuesday backed a call for the EU to fight homophobia and protect the rights of sexual minorities as fears rise of growing intolerance in many countries in the bloc. "Homophobia must not be tolerated in Europe any more," said Greens MEP Ulrike Lunacek, who steered the resolution through the assembly. "So many of us lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people have lived our lives in fear for too long. Fear of holding hands on the street, fear of being called names, fear of being thrown out of our houses, schools or jobs," Lunacek said.

Elton John, Lady Gaga, 'Dallas Buyers Club' get GLAAD nominations

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pop stars Elton John and Lady Gaga, award-winning films "Dallas Buyers Club" and "Blue is the Warmest Color" and the hit TV series "Modern Family" received nominations on Thursday from the GLAAD Media Awards. They were among 130 nominees named by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, which monitors how the LGBT community is portrayed in the media. The 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies are scheduled to be held in Los Angeles on April 12 and New York on May 3.

Grammys turn mass wedding in gay marriage celebration

The music industry's top night turned into the big day for 34 couples on Sunday as Madonna and other stars presided over a mass wedding in a celebration of gay marriage. The 34 couples -- some same-sex, some opposite-sex and diverse in race and appearance -- exchanged rings before the Grammys stage at Los Angeles' Staples Center, which was momentarily transformed into a brightly lit church with a gospel choir. The couples' wedding serenade was "Same Love," performed by hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Gay rights groups borrow Games message for campaign

By Keith Weir LONDON (Reuters) - International gay rights campaigners are using branded clothing inspired by the Olympic movement's own values to show their opposition to Russian laws on homosexuality ahead of the Sochi Games. American Apparel, known for its provocative marketing campaigns, is selling a line of bright red T-shirts, hoodies and hats based on Principle 6 from the Olympic charter, which spells out the movement's opposition to any form of discrimination.

Gays, lesbians to stage protest on India's Republic Day

Hundreds of gay and lesbian Indians will take to the streets of New Delhi on Sunday, demanding equal rights and a reversal of the recent ban on gay sex as the country celebrates its Republic Day. Members of various rights groups and civil society activists will also join the protest march that will kick off in the heart of the city's business district after the Republic Day celebrations wind up. "We want to ask the government if we are included in India's current idea of a republic," Mohnish Malhotra, one of the organisers of the parade, told AFP.

Anti-gay violence mars run-up to Sochi Olympics

"Serious" human rights problems such as anti-gay violence are clouding the run-up to the Sochi Olympics, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday while hailing the release of Kremlin critics from jail. "The cases of (Mikhail) Khodorkovsky, the Pussy Riot women and the Greenpeace activists are no longer casting a shadow over February's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi," HRW's Russia programme director Tania Lokshina said in a statement.

Nigerian leader signs anti-gay law, drawing U.S. fire

By Felix Onuah ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill on Monday that criminalizes same-sex relationships, defying Western pressure over gay rights and provoking criticism from the United States. The bill, which contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex "amorous relationships" and membership of gay rights groups, was passed by the national assembly last May but Jonathan had delayed signing it into law.

Gay rights issue should not be a distraction, King says

By Susan Heavey WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The controversy swirling around Russia's anti-gay policies should not overshadow the athletes at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month, tennis legend and advocate Billie Jean King said on Thursday. In her first public comments since being named as one of three openly gay members in the U.S. delegation to the Olympics, King said she did not know if there would be any coordinated or more subtle protests at the games.
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