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Turner art prize drops sponsor over anti-gay rights stance

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Turner Prize for art has dropped a corporate sponsor whose chairman has campaigned against gay rights. Prize organizers say they are cutting ties with bus company Stagecoach South East, which had been due to sponsor this year's exhibition at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, southeast England.

Stagecoach chairman Brian Souter campaigned two decades ago against the abolition of anti-gay law Section 28, which barred local authorities from "promoting" homosexuality. Turner Contemporary, prize organizer Tate and Stagecoach said Friday the relationship was ended by "mutual agreement."

Stagecoach said it was "absolutely committed to diversity in our company; however, we do not want anything to distract from celebrating the Turner Prize artists and their work." Four artists are competing for the 25,000-pound ($33,000) prize, Britain's leading award for contemporary art.

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