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US Senate supports use of military bases by Boy Scouts

[JURIST] US Senators approved a provision Tuesday which permits US military bases to continue holding Boy Scouts [official website] events. The 98-0 vote [roll call] was a tag-on to a larger bill outlining the Defense Department's policy for 2005. The provision was sponsored by former Boy Scout Senator Bill Frist [official website] who said its support was necessary [press release] in order to diffuse lawsuits over the past few years attempting to hinder the group's activities on government-owned property. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois [advocacy website] filed a suit in 1999 claiming a First Amendment violation by the Pentagon for allowing scout events on government property because the group prohibits openly gay leaders and the Boy Scout oath includes a "duty to God" reference. A federal judge ruled in the ACLU's favor in June, precluding the Pentagon from spending millions of dollars to sponsor Boy Scout activities. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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