Federal Court Reafirms 2013 Supreme Court Ruling on Anti-Prostitution PledgePublished on Tuesday, 03 February 2015 14:12
Court Demands U.S. Government Stop Applying Pledge to U.S. Public Health Groups and Foreign Affiliates
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has reaffirmed that a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring the anti-prostitution loyalty oath (APLO) unconstitutional protects U.S.-based organizations and their affiliates from being subjected to the policy. The District Court decision, issued by Judge Victor Marrero on Friday, January 30, rejected the U.S. government’s (USG) attempts to apply the APLO to foreign affiliates of U.S. organizations.
The APLO was part of the 2003 law authorizing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and required organizations receiving U.S. global HIV funds to adopt an organization-wide policy opposing sex work. Data show that the APLO has a detrimental effect on U.S. HIV programs. In response to the ruling by Judge Marrero, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) issued the following statement: “Judge Marrero’s ruling confirms what so many of us know – the APLO is a violation of the First Amendment and is a threat to HIV public health programs,” said Sippel. “This latest ruling is a victory for human rights.
There is no room in public health for a policy that undermines the basic human right to life-saving health care for any population, including sex workers. The APLO was based on the discrimination of one of the groups most at risk of HIV infection and runs counter to known best practices in public health interventions. This decision enables U.S. providers and their affiliates to use U.S. funding to address HIV and AIDS and not be sidetracked by ideology.”
Co-plaintiffs in Alliance for Open Society International (AOSI) v. United States Agency for International Development include Pathfinder International, Open Society Foundations, InterAction, and the Global Health Council. For more information on the case and court filings visit: http://www.pledgechallenge.org/