America's leading gay and lesbian organisation has given Ang Lee's controversial new movie Brokeback Mountain a boost by calling the movie "the most poignant love story".

Officials at the Gay + Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) are endorsing the film, which features love scenes between straight actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, who play gay cowboys.

And they go so far as the hail the release of the film later this month (DEC05) as "a historic moment in film history".

GLAAD president NEIL GIULIANO says, "This film has tremendous potential to connect with audiences gay and straight alike. People will relate to these characters and to the emotional authenticity of their story.

"What Brokeback Mountain does is allow audiences to experience, on an intensely emotional level, how ignorance and intolerance can force people to deny their love and deny who they are."

GLAAD bosses are providing a resource kit for critics featuring information on real-life gay cowboys and the rural gay experience.