Same-Sex Marriage Focus Of Umd Roundtable Discussion

DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS  The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Cultural Affairs Committee announced that it is co-sponsoring a roundtable panel discussion of same-sex marriage, one of the most heavily-debated public issues, both locally and nationally. The roundtable forum is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, April 13 in the Universitys library browsing area beginning at 6 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Parking is available in lot 13.

DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Cultural Affairs Committee announced that it is co-sponsoring a roundtable panel discussion of same-sex marriage, one of the most heavily-debated public issues, both locally and nationally. The roundtable forum is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, April 13 in the University’s library browsing area beginning at 6 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Parking is available in lot 13. 

Speakers include U.S Representative Barney Frank, Dr. Roger Lancaster, a professor of anthropology and cultural studies at George Mason University, Beverly Baccelli and Elizabeth DiCarlo, a local couple who were married in Canada last summer, and a representative of Mass Equality, a coalition of groups fighting against discrimination. 

Representative Frank is a leading national advocate for civil liberties and individual rights, as well as an openly gay member of Congress. Dr. Lancaster is the author of several books on gender and sexuality. Lisa Maya Knauer, assistant professor of anthropology and African/African-American Studies at UMass Dartmouth, will moderate the forum. 

The program is part of the University’s Cultural Affairs lecture series and the co-sponsors include the UMass Dartmouth Sociology-Anthropology Department, the Women’s Studies Program, the Women’s Resource Center, and the Pride Alliance. 

The idea of organizing this roundtable was prompted by last year’s decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court that same-sex couples could not be legally denied the right to marry in the Commonwealth. The controversy surrounding the Supreme Court ruling provoked a lot of discussion among students and faculty members. 

In an effort to shed light on important public issues, Professor Knauer and her colleagues in the UMD Sociology-Anthropology Department and Women’s Studies Program felt that as professors at a public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth, they had a responsibility to help educate and inform students, as well as the broader UMD and surrounding communities, about current events. 

“We hope to help students and area residents demystify the public discourse and go beyond the rhetoric surrounding the same-sex marriage cultural debate,” said Professor Knauer. “Each of our distinguished panel members will share their political, anthropological and personal perspectives,” she added. 


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