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Bush "Agrees With Boy Scout Ban"

Doreen Brandt
365Gay.com Newscenter in Washington

http://365gay.com/newschannel/newschannel.htm

(February 15, Washington) For the first time the White House has publicly stated that President Bush agrees with the Supreme Court decision that allows the Boy Scouts of America to bar gays.

Following a meeting with BSA leaders this week in the Oval Office, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said: "The president views this, as the courts have held, which is that it's a private organization."

Bush defended the scouts during the presidential campaign, but this is the first statement on the subject since he became president.

The president's meeting with scouting leaders is an annual tradition dating back to President Regan. The Boy Scouts of America got a federal charter in 1916 as a " patriotic, charitable and education organization."

While it confers no specific benefits, receiving a federal charter is a mark of prestige and national recognition.

A rider to last year's Education Bill signed by Bush would deny federal money to school which deny access to its facilities to scout troops.

The rider, written by Sen Jesse Helms was aimed at municipalities which have civil rights protections for gays and lesbians.



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