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Gay rights groups target Cup for spotlight

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 18, 2014 at 11:53 am •  Published: June 18, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Gay rights activists in Brazil are using the spotlight of the World Cup to draw attention to the harsh penalties gay people face in many of the countries represented at soccer's premier event.

About 400 gay rights activists protested this week in Curitiba to denounce homophobia in Iran and Nigeria, which were competing on the field. Iran's former president once said gays don't exist the penalty for gay sex in Nigeria can be death by stoning.

Activists also are pointing out that Brazil itself is not entirely gay-friendly. The watchdog Grupo Gay da Bahia says there were 313 anti-gay killings in Brazil last year.