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Constitution Day panel on marriage equality set for Sept. 17

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, who had legally married another man in Maryland but whose marriage was not recognized in his state of residence, Ohio. The Court held in a 5-4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

The Court’s majority opinion also noted that First Amendment protections are in place for those who do not recognize same-sex marriage as part of their religion.

Rebecca Robertson, legal and policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Texas, and Chelsey Youman, associate counsel for the Liberty Institute, will discuss the Court’s ruling from perspectives of both same-sex marriage advocates and religious objectors during a free Constitution Day panel discussion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 17 at the UNT Auditorium Building, room 100.

Constitution Day was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd to an appropriations bill. The actual date of Constitution Day, Sept. 17, was previously known only as Citizenship Day, which recognized those who had become U.S. citizens during the previous year. The expanded Constitution Day and Citizenship Day mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programs on the history of the American constitution.

Rafael Major, senior lecturer in the Honors College, said the Constitution Day program will not be a traditional debate. Instead, both speakers will give their views of the Supreme Court decision and what they believe will be its implications. Both speakers will answer student questions from the audience following their presentations.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Mandy Rausch at 940-565-2499 or

Posted on: Tue 15 September 2015

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