- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
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 ...
- JAMA opinion piece calls for ending lifetime ban on blood donation by gay men
- HIV rate drops in U.S. for most groups; percentage for young gay, bisexual men up
- VH1's 'Naked Dating' outrages parents group
- Justina Pelletier talks to Republican lawmakers
- EEOC aims to stop discrimination against pregnant women
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
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- Outrage over $190M border security deal for troubled federal contractor
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq