The Bush administration has made two controversial appointments set to raise the ire of Christianconservatives who normally support the president. According to "The New York Times," senior White Houseofficials said yesterday that Scott Evertz, a leader among gay Republicans in Wisconsin, will be nameddirector of the Office of National AIDS Policy.

Homosexual groups said it is the first time an openly gay man or a lesbian has been appointed to any positionby a Republican administration, the "Times" reported. White House officials won't discuss Evertz's sexualorientation or its significance in politics or policy, claiming that Bush did not factor such issues whenmaking appointments.

Evertz is Wisconsin president of the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest gay and lesbian Republicanorganization. Evertz is a Roman Catholic who has been a fund-raiser for the Wisconsin Right to Lifeanti-abortion group and for a Catholic AIDS ministry, "The Washington Post" reported. Evertz told the "Post"being a gay Catholic Republican was "not as odd as you would think. There are more of us than you wouldthink."

Meanwhile, a U.S. Senate committee last week unanimously approved Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci'snomination as ambassador to Canada, "The Washington Times" reported. Pro-family groups accused Cellucci ofpushing a radical homosexual agenda as governor. Family Research Council president Kenneth Connor saidCellucci's nomination was "puzzling," considering Bush's pro-family stance.