Constitution Day Symposium Set for September 19

On Monday, September 19th from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saint Mary's will host A Constitutional Symposium: Religious Liberty & LGBTQ+ Rights. The event will take place in the Soda Center (Claeys Lounge) and is free and open to the public.

This symposium is held in recognition of national Constitution Day. Many states have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet many states also provide exemptions to religious entities that allow them to withhold certain services and benefits from LGBTQ+ persons. Supporters of such exemptions and advocates of LGBTQ+ rights each rely on constitutional values that are foundational to the American experience: freedom of religious expression on the one hand and equal protection under the law on the other.

Our pluralistic society relies on open dialogue and tolerance of divergent beliefs. Accordingly, three respected Constitutional experts will discuss the perceived tension between these constitutional rights:     

  • Robin Fretwell Wilson, Director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs for the University of Illinois
  • Kyle Velte,  Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law
  • Elizabeth Clark, Professor and Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University

Members of the audience will have the opportunity to submit questions for the speakers to address. Free copies of the Constitution will be distributed. Those who prefer to attend remotely can register here.