<p>Brown University will host a panel discussion titled “Legislating Same-Sex Marriage: All Eyes on Rhode Island.” Bringing together experts on both sides of the debate, the event will take place Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 4 p.m. in MacMillan Hall, Starr Auditorium.</p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Experts on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate will come together for a panel discussion titled “Legislating Same-Sex Marriage: All Eyes on Rhode Island,” hosted by Brown University. The event, free and open to the public, will take place on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 4 p.m in MacMillan Hall, Starr Auditorium, 167 Thayer St.

The discussion will center around whether Rhode Island will become the next state to pass a law permitting same-sex marriage, with advocates from both sides weighing in on the debate. A lengthy question and answer session will follow the discussion. This event is sponsored by the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Insitutions and the Brown Daily Herald.


  • Robert O. Self, professor of history at Brown and author of American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland (Princeton, 2003) and All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s (Hill and Wang, 2013);
  • Courtney Cahill, professor of law at Florida State University whose scholarship focuses on the intersection of family law and constitutional law, with a particular focus on marriage equality and reproductive rights;
  • Christopher Plante, regional director of the National Organization for Marriage, a nonprofit organization that seeks to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it;
  • Janson Wu, staff attorney with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders;
  • Rev. Thomas Petri, Catholic priest and a friar in the Order of Preachers and assistant professor of theology at Providence College.

As Rhode Island considers passing a law permitting same-sex marriage, a panel of experts will discuss the social and political landscape around the issue, both nationally and locally. Advocates from both sides will be represented and weigh in on the debate, which will be immediately followed by a question and answer session, giving the audience the opportunity to ask questions of the panel participants.

MacMillan Hall / Starr Auditorium
167 Thayer St.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 4 p.m.