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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
April 21, 2006

Wearing rainbow leis, LGBT families join White House
Easter egg roll

Washington, D.C.--Despite stiff opposition from religious conservatives, LGBT families took part in the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House on April 17, although a last-minute ticketing change ensured that none of them were present for the opening ceremonies.

Families waited in line three days earlier, some for as long as 24 hours, for tickets to the event. However, White House staff began presenting tickets with staggered entrance times, meaning that those who waited the longest often were not the first ones in.

A large group of LGBT parents and their children were near the front of the line, although �traditional� families were both in front of and behind the group, which was organized by Family Pride.

The White House claimed, both in interviews with a gay reporter and in a briefing led by Press Secretary Scott McClellan, that the Bush administration had established a tradition of limiting early entrance to specific groups being honored by the White House.

In 2003, for instance, the entire event was limited to the families of military personnel. This year, tickets for early entrance were given to youth volunteers with organizations including 4-H, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the YMCA, among others.

In the White House press briefing, a reporter representing a religious right web site asked if, in the future, �all orientations� would be allowed in the Easter Egg Roll, �including those wearing arm bands proclaiming that pain is pleasure.�

The question, by World Net Daily�s Les Kinsolving, was met with laughter by the White House press corps.

The staggered admissions meant that the LGBT families, many of whom wore rainbow leis to identify themselves, were not present during the opening ceremonies, which President Bush attended with First Lady Laura Bush.

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