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July/August 2011
Global ID
Restriction on AIDS Funding Violates First Amendment, Court Rules

A U.S. policy that denies federal funding to any AIDS organization that does not explicitly oppose prostitution and sex trafficking is unconstitutional, according to a ruling (PDF) issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in July. The U.S. government had required that organizations seeking government funds publicly announce their opposition to prostitution and sex trafficking. The ruling applies to the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, which authorizes billions of dollars of U.S. aid that targets the three diseases. The majority opinion contended that the provision is unconstitutional because “compelling speech as a condition of receiving a government benefit cannot be squared with the First Amendment.” The ruling upholds an injunction blocking the government’s enforcement of the policy. Visit the Center for Global Health Policy’s blog, Science Speaks, for the full story.

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