The Department of Health and Human Services is claiming it never intended to sponsor a conference this weekend featuring lewd homosexual sex discussions, and as a result pulled $3,000 in funding for the event.
An aide to Rep. Mark Souder—who wrote an angry letter to HHS asking for an explanation of its sponsorship—said her boss’ action convinced the department to pull its sponsorship.
The conference, passed off as reducing methamphetamine use, takes a “harm reduction” approach to the drug and puts a heavy focus on homosexuality.
Sessions for the event include:
“You Don’t Have to Be Clean and Sober. Or Even Want to Be!”
“We Don’t Need a ‘War’ on Methamphetamine”
“Tweaking Tips for Party Boys”
“Barebacking: A Harm Reduction Approach”
“Without Condoms: Harm Reduction, Unprotected Sex, Gay Men and Barebacking”
George Soros, who has given money toward marijuana-legalization ballot measures, donated heavily to the event, which will be held in Salt Lake City this weekend, August 19-20.
HHS spokeswoman Christina Pearson said, “Once we saw the agenda, funds were immediately withdrawn. We were completely unaware.” Pearson said a regional office had approved use of the money without notifying federal officials.
Malia Holst, an aide to the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Services, said the letters Souder and six U.S. senators wrote convinced Leavitt to pull sponsorship. The money, amounting to $3,000, was given to provide travel scholarships.
In his letter, Souder wrote, “I am enormously frustrated with your department for dithering on the meth issue while the rest of America fights an epidemic that is viciously tearing apart families and communities throughout the country.”
The conference still has a host of other government sponsors, including the Utah Department of Health, California Department of Health Services, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Pennsylvania Department of Public Health, New Mexico Department of Health, and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.