Guest / Limited Access /
Supreme Court: Anti-AIDS Program Can't Require Groups to Oppose Prostitution
Mark Wilson / Getty

The U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) policy requiring funded groups to explicitly oppose prostitution is no more—and some faith-based groups say that's good news even though they don't support prostitution.

In a ruling this morning, Supreme Court decided 6-2 that the government can't require grantees to publicly share its views on issues not directly related to the program it is funding.

"The policy requirement goes beyond preventing recipients from using private funds in a way that would undermine the federal program," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his summary of the majority decision. "It requires them to pledge allegiance to the government's policy of eradicating prostitution.

In the full decision, Roberts said the anti-prostitution policy was significantly different from other funding rules, like the rule barring groups from using federal funds to advocate abortion. In that case, Roberts said, organizations could still use private funds to promote abortion. The rules change, he said, when the government asks a grantee to take a stand beyond the scope of the government prgram. "By requiring recipients to profess a specific belief, the Policy Requirement goes beyond defining the limits of the federally funded program to defining the recipient."

That's an important victory for evangelical and faith-based groups that promote certain religious beliefs along with their services, says Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

The ruling strikes down an anti-prostitution policy in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a Bush-era program to fight HIV/AIDS. PEPFAR previously ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssuePete Docter
Pete Docter
The genius director of Inside Out and other Pixar favorites shows off the power of animated storytelling.
Current IssueChris and Will Haughey
Chris and Will Haughey
Brothers' startup reinvents the wooden block.
RecommendedWho’s Who of Trump’s ‘Tremendous’ Faith Advisers
Who’s Who of Trump’s ‘Tremendous’ Faith Advisers
The Republican candidate finally names his campaign’s evangelical connections.
TrendingDobson Endorses Trump, While Evangelical Leaders Advise Voting for Lesser Evil
Dobson Endorses Trump, While Evangelical Leaders Advise Voting for Lesser Evil
Pew tracks how many evangelicals came to pick Trump for president.
Editor's PickMy Encounter with Ken Ham's Giant Ark
My Encounter with Ken Ham's Giant Ark
A four-hour visit to the massive replica of Noah's boat left me with a flood of questions.
Christianity Today
Supreme Court: Anti-AIDS Program Can't Require Groups to Oppose ...
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.