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Bill Clinton to receive advocacy award from gay lobbying group

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks during a Samsung keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 9, 20
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks during a Samsung keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 9, 20

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former President Bill Clinton will be honored with an award for his advocacy for gay marriage, gay and lesbian lobbying group GLAAD said on Wednesday.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which promotes understanding and acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, said Clinton will be recognized for backing gay marriage and for campaigning against laws that ban marriage and civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.

Clinton will receive the first Advocate for Change Award at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 20. He announced his support of gay marriage in 2011, a decade after he left office.

Last month Clinton, 66, urged the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which he signed into law in 1996, saying it was unconstitutional.

"President Clinton's support of the LGBT community and recognition that DOMA ... is unconstitutional and should be struck down shows that the political landscape continues to change in favor of LGBT equality," Wilson Cruz, an actor and GLAAD official, said in a statement.

Actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron will be among presenters at the 24th GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.

The GLAAD Awards, which take place annually in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, honor those who help foster positive images of the lives of gay people on television, in film, books and other media.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Stacey Joyce)

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