The weekly report on US and International policy
by Edwina Rogers
U.S. Supreme Court on Same-Sex Marriage
This past┬áTuesday, arguments regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage were made before the Supreme Court. In stark contrast to┬átraditional┬ápoints of view on the matter, the arguments suggested that the Court will mandate┬ástates to both recognize and license same-sex marriage. The Court should ÔÇô and probably will ÔÇô stay away from pontificating about marriage or philosophizing on the nature of rights. The Fourteenth Amendment does not explicitly address the issue of┬ámarriage, as well as all other possible objects of state regulation. What it speaks to instead is the equal protection of all individuals under┬áthe law.
The chairmanship of the eight-member Arctic Council formally passes from Canada to the US, where it will be led by Secretary of State John Kerry.
As the Washington Post reports, the US leadership comes amid significant┬áclimate changes┬áthat are creating new environmental challenges, as well as new economic opportunities and competition in the region. The SPI will address the future of Earth’s climate during its World Future Forum.
SPI and Foundation For Critical Thinking to Meet with Congress
On June 17-18th, SPI will host Dr. Linda Elder, President of SPI affiliate, Foundation of Critical Thinking. Together, we┬áwill attend┬ámeetings with congressional members, the Department of Education, and the White House to discuss the importance of critical thinking in education.┬á
Proposed Rule for┬áUS Department of Health and Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a rule to amend its acquisition regulation, which outlines policies for entering into/awarding contracts. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) worked with Guttmacher, Center for Health and Gender Equality (CHANGE), National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU), Pathfinder, and National Partnership to propose that┬ácertain HHS contracts and solicitations include language regarding:
- non-discrimination in service delivery
- non-discrimination for conscience under President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR, a global HIV/AIDS program)
- restrictions on the use of federal money for abortion
The text of the relevant sections are pasted below for reference.
If you have any questions about the rule or the template comments, please contact Kashif Syed (firstname.lastname@example.org), Davida Silverman (email@example.com) or Caitlin Horrigan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Relevant Sections Regarding the Proposed Rule
352.270-9: Non-Discrimination for Conscience
(a) Section 301(d) of the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act, as amended, provides that an organization, including a faith-based organization, that is otherwise eligible to receive assistance under section 104A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, under the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, under the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, or under any amendment to the foregoing Acts for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, or careÔÇöShow citation box
(1) Shall not be required, as a condition of receiving such assistance, toÔÇö
(i) Endorse or utilize a multisectoral or comprehensive approach to combating HIV/AIDS; or
(ii) Endorse, utilize, make a referral to, become integrated with, or otherwise participate in any program or activity to which the organization has a religious or moral objection.
(2) Shall not be discriminated against under the provisions of law in subparagraph (a) for refusing to meet any requirement described in paragraph (a)(1) in this solicitation.
(b) Accordingly, an offeror who believes this solicitation contains work requirements requiring it endorse or utilize a multisectoral or comprehensive approach to combating HIV/AIDS, or endorse, utilize, make referral to, become integrated with, or otherwise participate in a program or activity to which it has a religious or moral objection, shall identify those work requirements it excluded in its technical proposal.
(c) The Government acknowledges that an offeror has specific rights, as cited in paragraph (b), to exclude certain work requirements in this solicitation from its proposal. However, the Government reserves the right to not make an award to an offeror whose proposal does not comply with the salient work requirements of the solicitation. Any exercise of that Government right will be made by the Head of the Contracting Activity (emphasis added).
352.237-74: Non-Discrimination in Service Delivery
As prescribed in 337.103ÔÇô70(e), the Contracting Officer shall insert the following clause in solicitations and contracts:
Non-Discrimination in Service Delivery (Date)
It is the policy of the Department of Health and Human Services that no person otherwise eligible will be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in the administration of HHS programs and services based on non-merit factors such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability (physical or mental). By acceptance of this contract, the contractor agrees to comply with this policy in supporting the program and in performing the services called for under this contract. The contractor shall include this clause in all sub-contracts awarded under this contract for supporting or performing the specified program and services. Accordingly, the contractor shall ensure that each of its employees, and any sub-contractor staff, is made aware of, understands, and complies with this policy. (End of clause)
352.270-13: Continued Ban on Funding Abortion and Continued Ban on Funding of Human Embryo Research.
As prescribed in 370.304(e), the Contracting Officer shall insert the following clause:
Continued Ban on Funding Abortion and Continued Ban on Funding of Human Embryo Research (Date)
(a) The Contractor shall not use any funds obligated under this contract for any abortion.
(b) The Contractor shall not use any funds obligated under this contract for the following:
(1) The creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or
(2) Research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury of death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero under 45 CFR part 46 and Section 498(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 289g(b)).
The term ÔÇÿÔÇÿhuman embryo or embryosÔÇÖÔÇÖ includes any organism, not protected as a human subject under 45 CFR 46 as of the date of the enactment of this Act, that is derived by fertilization, parthenogenesis, cloning, or any other means from one or more human gametes of human diploid cells.
(c) The Contractor shall not use any Federal funds for the cloning of human beings. (End of Clause)