- Catholic League slams Obama: ‘Do Christian lives mean so little to you?’
- National laboratory cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ classes after outcry
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
- Belgium pushes for clear labeling of goods from Israeli settlements
- ‘Queen of Mean’ Leona Helmsley’s former home hits market for $65M
- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
Supreme Court to hear arguments on ‘prostitution pledge’
Question of the Day
A Bush-era rule that forbids some federal AIDS money to go to groups unless they "explicitly" oppose prostitution and sex trafficking is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
The "prostitution pledge" was added to the law that established the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to ensure that the U.S. government didn't unwittingly fund or promote commercial sex activities as part of its battle against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The pledge has been argued in two court cases that resulted in opposite rulings: In 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the pledge as constitutional; in 2011, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the pledge.
On Monday, Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan is scheduled to argue on behalf of the law and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The government argues that Congress placed two rational limitations on use of the HIV/AIDS funds no funding to promote or advocate for sex work, and no funding to groups that didn't "explicitly" oppose prostitution and sex trafficking.
David W. Bowker, who is representing clients including the Alliance for Open Society International, a group funded by billionaire George Soros, will ask the high court to uphold the 2nd Circuit Court's ruling and strike down the pledge.
The pledge makes funding recipients go through "an ideological purity test" and then forces them "to adopt and express the government's viewpoint as their own," said a brief filed by the Alliance for Open Society International, Pathfinder International, Global Health Council and InterAction.
Such restrictions force AIDS-fighting groups to condemn one of the very populations they seek to serve, the groups said, noting that the pledge does not apply to other government-funded public health programs.
The U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003, which includes the $4.5 billion President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, was created and passed during the George W. Bush administration.
The pledge was designed to ensure that "pimps and brothel owners" didn't become partners with the U.S. government, via their subcontracts with nongovernmental agencies, Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican, argued a few years ago when the pledge language was being debated on Capitol Hill.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Mississippi abortion law can't be enforced
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- Events honoring 20th National Parents' Day reaffirm family
- '50 Shades' movie trailer outrages anti-porn groups
- Tougher clinic rules lead to drop in Texas abortions
Latest Blog Entries
- Gay therapy ban author seeks Calif. House seat
- Transgender 'bathroom law' gets 5,000 more signatures
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
TWT Video Picks
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world