"Glee" and "Modern Family" honored by gay group

LOS ANGELES Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:46am EDT

1 of 10. Actress Kristin Chenoweth is lifted off her feet as she gets a hug as she accepted the Vanguard Award from actor Sean Hayes at the 22nd annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in Los Angeles, April 10, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Glee" and "Modern Family" tied for best TV comedy series at the annual GLAAD Awards on Sunday, as the campaign group honored shows and stars for advancing the portrayal of gays and lesbians in the media.

The two Emmy-award winning shows both feature gay characters and themes that have helped built acceptance of America's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, the nation's leading gay rights group said.

Fashion design contest "Project Runway" won the reality TV award after showcasing a contestant last year who publicly revealed for the first time that he was HIV-positive.

Broadway and TV actress Kristin Chenoweth, a guest star on "Glee," was presented with the Vanguard Award, which is handed out annually by GLAAD to those who increase visibility and understanding of the LGBT community.

Chenoweth was singled out for defending her gay Broadway co-star Sean Hayes in the musical "Promises, Promises" against comments in a 2010 magazine article that argued that openly gay actors were unconvincing in straight roles.

The awards were presented at a gala dinner in Los Angeles hosted by "Parks and Recreation" actresses Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) hands out awards to TV shows, movies, journalists, musicians and bloggers that most fairly portray the LGBT community and the issues that affect them.

Most of the media awards will be handed out at a ceremony in San Francisco in May.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)