News In Brief

Speakes speaks up for Reagan on rights

White House spokesman Larry Speakes defended President Reagan's civil rights record Wednesday, angrily telling reporters that anyone who says Reagan does not support equal opportunity ''is an outright liar.''

The comments came in response to questions about an interview with William Bradford Reynolds, head of the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, that was published in Wednesday's Washington Post.

Mr. Reynolds said federal fair-housing law does not require racial balance in housing. He added that while the administration will act to stop practices that deny people opportunity in housing, ''the natural consequences of people's choice of housing is not something the federal government ought to'' regulate.

Mr. Speakes said, ''The President's view is that quotas should not be used,'' but that existing civil rights laws should be enforced.

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