Sex Work

U.S. Government Agency Sued for Requiring Pledge of Opposition to Prostitution

Rules out people who think activities among consenting adults should be legal


Yesterday, we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Supreme Court in a case called United States Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, opposing the so-called "Anti-Prostitution Pledge." The Pledge is a requirement that public health organizations who wish government funding for their work combatting AIDS and other diseases make a formal statement "opposing prostitution."

The Pledge puts organizations in a quandary: On one hand, they can take the government's money and say something they might not really believe, have no opinion about, or see as a complex social issue irreducible to anything as simpleminded as "opposing prostitution." On the other hand, they can take a principled stand against the Pledge, forfeiting a share of billions of dollars in government aid that they could otherwise put to good use curbing disease and relieving human suffering.