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Federal appeals court upholds White House terms for nonprofit AIDS funding

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] held [PDF opinion] Tuesday that the Bush administration is permitted to deny funding to nonprofit AIDS awareness and advocacy groups that fail to publicly advocate against sex trafficking and prostitution. Judge A. Raymond Randolf held that the First Amendment rights of AIDS groups are not diminished by placing such requirements on the receipt of federal monies. In his opinion, he wrote that these requirements do "not compel [groups] to advocate the government's position on prostitution and sex trafficking; it requires only that if [the organization] wishes to receive funds it must communicate the message the government chooses to fund."

DKT International Inc.
[advocacy website] brought a lawsuit against the US Agency for International Development [official website] in 2005, stating that any law requiring them to advocate for the government's position infringed on their freedom of speech. The lower court held [PDF opinion] that the government requirements amounted to a violation of First Amendment rights, writing that "by mandating that DKT adopt an organization-wide policy against prostitution, the government exceeds its ability to limit the use of government funds." AP has more.

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