Next Wednesday, a small group of University Scholars will go to dinner before attending the next talk in the CONFLICT, CIVILITY, RESPECT, PEACE: Northeastern Reflects Series. This will be a panel discussion, hosted by Governor Dukakis and moderated by Margaret Burnham of the law school, with some of the leading figures in this field. The panel will be discussing what the recent spate of legal wins around the issue of gay marriage means for gay rights.
Roderick L. Ireland, PhD ‘98
Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and Adjunct Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Mary Bonauto, L ‘87
Civil Rights Project Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Director of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and Professor of Sociology, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Northeastern University
Professor of Law, and Director, Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, Northeastern University
Ten years ago this November, with its decision in Goodridge v. Department of Health, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court made Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. The case set the stage for further legal action across the nation. In June of this year, the Supreme Court ruled in support of a state’s ability to approve same-sex marriages and struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Currently, fourteen states and Washington, D.C. allow same-sex couples to marry: nearly one third of the U.S. population - more than 100 million Americans - live in a state where same-sex couples can marry and more state action is on the horizon.
Now we have the opportunity for thoughtful and critical reflection on the implications of these landmark decisions. What forces shaped the court decisions ten years ago and this year? Where are we now on the definitions of marriage and where are we going? Is marriage equality one step or the final step for gay rights in the United States?
This timely panel features three speakers who have been closely involved in matters of gay marriage as a judge, litigator, and commentator, and a moderator with deep involvement in questions of civil and human rights, all of them with close ties to Northeastern. Please join us for this important conversation.