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Weber State to debate same-sex marriage as part of Constitution Week

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A debate on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, a discussion on the importance of consuming information in a democratic society and a panel exploring the First Amendment are the key events scheduled for Constitution Week at Weber State University Sept. 15–18.

The American Democracy Project sponsors the annual celebration of the Constitution at WSU. Beginning this year, the week will include First Amendment Day with an educational panel of constitutional scholars, communication law professors and reporters to explore issues such as campaign finance and tax exemptions for religious organizations. The discussion will be held Sept. 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater.

“This year, ADP is beginning an educational tradition by incorporating a First Amendment Day into the week to explore related topics such as how a free press serves the people of a nation,” said India Nielsen, a student and the 2014 ADP director.

As part of the week’s activities, New York Times graphics editor Kevin Quealy will discuss the importance of graphics in the consumption of information on Sept. 17 from 11:30-12:30 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater. Along with the speech, ADP will offer free birthday cake and copies of the Constitution from 11 a.m. to noon in the Shepherd Union Fireplace Lounge.

The event, “Debating Same-Sex Marriage and the Constitution,” will be held Sept. 18 at 1:45 p.m. in Elizabeth Hall Room 229. The debate will feature William Duncan, the director of the Center for Family and Society at the Sutherland Institute, and Clifford J. Rosky, professor of law at the University of Utah. Doug Gibson, the opinion editor for the Standard-Examiner, will moderate.

The discussion is intended to inform students and the public about the constitutional issues the Supreme Court will likely address if they agree to hear Utah’s appeal of the 10th Circuit Court decision upholding same-sex marriage.

The Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service is hosting the debate, which is sponsored by a grant from the JackMiller Center “Constitutional Day Initiative.”

“Constitution Week is a fun way to learn about this defining piece of history,” Nielsen said. “The events of the week bring awareness to rights and issues stemming from this document that are truly part of everyday American life.”

Daily activities throughout the week include:

Sept. 15
12:30-1:30 p.m.: First Amendment Day panel, Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater

Sept. 17
11-noon: Free cake and free copies of the Constitution, Shepherd Union Fireplace Lounge

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: New York Times graphics editor Kevin Quealy, Shepherd
Union Wildcat Theater

Sept. 18
12:30-1:15 p.m.: Constitution Quiz Show, Shepherd Union Fireplace Lounge

1:45-2:45 p.m.: Debating Same-Sex Marriage and the Constitution, Elizabeth Hall Room 229

Visit weber.edu/leadership/adp.html and weber.edu/walkerinstitute for more information about ADP and Constitution Week.

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