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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Anti-Bias Measure OKd in Rebuke to Boy Scouts

August 23, 2000

WEST HOLLYWOOD — In a rebuke to the Boy Scouts of America, the City Council has passed a resolution prohibiting the use of public buildings by groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and other protected classes.

The resolution, approved Monday, says the city discourages "groups which openly discriminate against gay men or women . . . from meeting at public facilities" in West Hollywood. City attorneys will return an ordinance to the council to enact the resolution, which passed 4 to 1, into law.

Councilman Steve Martin cast the dissenting vote.

The measure was initiated by Mayor Jeffrey Prang and Councilman John Heilman in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that upholds the Boy Scouts' legal right to bar homosexuals from serving as troop leaders--a decision some say will also allow the exclusion of homosexuals as members.

"What a terrible message to young people from an organization that is supposed to teach healthy and noble values," Prang said in a statement released Tuesday.

At Monday's meeting, Prang urged President Clinton to resign as honorary president of the Boy Scouts.

Joey Robinson, spokesman for the Los Angeles Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, said the resolution won't have much effect, because the group's meetings in West Hollywood are already open to everyone.

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