US Senate supports use of military bases by Boy Scouts

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.