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Former President George W. Bush plans to return to the White House for the unveiling of his official portrait later this month, marking a rare visit by the two-term president who has largely shunned the spotlight since leaving office.

The White House and Mr. Bush’s office said Mr. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush will return to the White House on May 31 for the release of their portraits.

Mr. Bush has avoided politics since he left office in January 2009. The portrait ceremony will be his first visit to the White House in more than two years.

Mr. Bush appeared with President Obama and former President Bill Clinton at the Rose Garden following the devastating Haiti earthquake in January 2010. The Republican accompanied Mr. Obama last year to New York’s ground zero on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said the couple was “looking forward to seeing a lot of their friends from the administration and they are grateful to the president and first lady for their hospitality.”

Mr. Obama criticized Mr. Bush’s economic and foreign policy record during his 2008 campaign and has said that Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney would help restore the policies that preceded the economic collapse at the end of Mr. Bush’s presidency.

But in their appearances together, they have maintained a presidential protocol. In New York last year, Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush ran their hands over bronze panels bearing the names of victims


NAACP backs same-sex marriage as civil right

MIAMI — The NAACP passed a resolution Saturday endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right and opposing any efforts “to codify discrimination or hatred into the law.”

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the U.S. Constitution.

“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people,” Board Chairwoman Roslyn M. Brock said in a statement. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”

Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.

The NAACP vote came about two weeks after President Obama announced his support for gay marriage, setting off a flurry of political activity in a number of states. Mr. Obama’s announcement followed Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s declaration in a television interview that he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay couples marrying.

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights.

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