Marriage and Same Sex Unions: A Debate

The question of gay marriage is one of the most hotly debated moral and cultural issues of our time. Should same-sex couples enjoy the same right to marry that heterosexual couples have? Is homosexual activity within a committed monogamous relationship truly marriage? Two nationally prominent speakers, who have appeared in many debates across the country on the subject of gay marriage, will present divergent points of view at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21 in Austin Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center.

Speakers are Maggie Gallagher and John Corvino. Maggie Gallagher will argue that marriage between a woman and a man is the fundamental, cross-cultural institution for insuring that children have loving, committed mothers and fathers. John Corvino will argue that extending marriage to gay couples is good for those couples and good for society at large, because society has an interest in promoting stable partnerships for all its members, straight and gay alike.

Maggie Gallagher is a writer and commentator who serves as president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and the National Organization for Marriage. She is the author of five books, including The Abolition of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love; and (with Linda Waite) The Case for Marriage. She has written a syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate since 1995.

John Corvino is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wayne State University, where he has taught ethical theory, applied ethics, and early modern philosophy since 1998. He is the editor of Same Sex: Debating the Ethics, Science, and Culture of Homosexuality. His writing has been featured at the Independent Gay Forum, in academic journals, and in over a dozen anthologies. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears weekly at

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