ACLU Statement on Supreme Court Ruling in Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society, International

June 20, 2013 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – In a 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc., that the government may not require that organizations participating in a federally-funded program to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS adopt a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.

“Today’s decision places real limits on the ability of government to impose its views on others by attaching strings to government dollars,” said Steven R. Shapiro, national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “The price of obtaining a government grant should not be the loss of First Amendment rights. Like any other funder, the government can take steps to ensure that the money it gives to private organizations is spent for its intended purpose. Under the First Amendment, however, the government cannot tell grant recipients what they must believe or what they can say with private funds.”

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