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Bush making AIDS groups pledge to oppose prostitution

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Ok, this takes some balls in the middle of GannonGuckertGate. But MESSAGE TO MAINSTREAM MEDIA, Jeff Gannon being a hooker and working in the West Wing, while the White House STILL hasn't condemned him or even spoken out about him, is NOT an even more interesting story in light of the fact that the Bush administration is now publicly taking on hookers. No, no hypocrisy there, nothing to see, move right along.

Or is this the White House's response to Gannon to placate the religious right? I.e., take a swipe at foreign hookers?

From the Kaiser Foundation:

Bush Administration To Require U.S. AIDS Groups Take Pledge Opposing Commercial Sex Work To Gain Funding
[Feb 28, 2005]

The Bush administration is requiring that U.S. HIV/AIDS organizations seeking funding to provide services in other countries make a pledge opposing commercial sex work, and some Republican lawmakers and administration officials are pushing for a similar policy for needle-exchange programs, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under the new policy, even groups whose HIV/AIDS work in other countries has "nothing to do" with commercial sex workers will have to make a written pledge opposing commercial sex work or risk losing federal funding, according to the Journal. In addition, the Bush administration might refuse to fund HIV/AIDS groups that do not accept Bush's "social agenda" on issues such as sexual abstinence and drug use, according to the Journal. The new policy stems from two 2003 laws, one involving HIV/AIDS funding and another regarding sex trafficking (Phillips, Wall Street Journal, 2/28). One measure was included as an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.), in the legislation (HR 1298) that authorized the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the five-year, $15 billion program that directs funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to 15 focus countries. The measure prohibits funds from going to any group or organization that does not have a policy "explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/3/03). The U.S. Department of Justice initially told the administration that the requirement should be applied to overseas groups only because of constitutional free speech concerns in applying it to U.S. organizations, according to the Journal. However, DOJ in 2004 "reversed itself" and said that the administration could apply the rule to U.S. groups, according to the Journal.

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