Democrats and civil rights advocates condemned the Justice Department today for barring a gay pride event planned by department employees, and called on Attorney General John Ashcroft to reverse the decision. […]
A group of several hundred gay and lesbian Justice Department employees, called DOJ Pride, had budgeted $600 to hold an awards ceremony on June 18 at the department’s Great Hall to celebrate Gay Pride Month. The group has held similar events at the department each of the last six years, members said, and Mr. Ashcroft’s top deputy spoke at last year’s event.
But Justice Department officials have told the group that it cannot hold the ceremony at the department this year because of a new policy prohibiting events not recognized by White House proclamation.
Mr. Bush has issued hundreds of presidential proclamations, recognizing events like National African American History Month, National Prayer Day and Leif Erikson Day.
But unlike President Bill Clinton, Mr. Bush has not recognized Gay Pride Month.