Panel to discuss same-sex marriage

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    Early voting for the Texas State elections has begun, and Brite Divinity School is hosting a discussion panel today to debate and inform students, faculty, staff and members of the public about the proposed amendment, Proposition 2.The state law prohibits the issuance of a marriage license for the marriage of persons of the same sex, according to Texas Online.

    In 2003, the Texas Legislature passed the Defense of Marriage Act that states: “Same-sex marriage or civil union is contrary to the public policy of this state and is void in this state.”

    “So what this amendment does is take something that is already covered by statute law and embed it into the Bill of Rights of our state constitution,” said Bayliss Camp, an assistant professor of sociology.

    Camp and Stephen Sprinkle, an associate professor of practical theology at Brite, created a panel that will discuss Proposition 2.

    “Supporters of the new amendment are being redundant,” said Sprinkle, director of field education and supervised ministry. “The amendment is born out of fear of someone different.”

    Brite has not taken a position on the marriage amendment, but the school supports the panel discussion, Sprinkle said.

    “This being an academic community, we decided to put together something to foster intellectual consideration of the issue – a panel discussion open to the public,” Camp said.

    Sprinkle said Brite is a progressive school, and the students, faculty and staff have varying opinions on the issue of gay marriages.

    “I am opposed to enshrining discrimination in the Texas Constitution, which is what this measure would do, should it pass,” Sprinkle said. “People always seek to limit God’s love and justice. They limit God’s love to people like themselves and God’s justice to others who do not resemble them.”

    This amendment will have an impact on the TCU community and affect Recruitment and retention, Camp said.

    “Certainly the amendment would remove any hope gay and lesbian students, faculty and staff might hold of ever having legal, state recognition of their relationships,” Camp said.

    Brite alumna Katie Low will be the mediator for the panel and will open the discussion by reading the amendment. The panelists will be: Camp; Sprinkle; Don Jackson, a professor of political science and constitutional law expert at TCU; and the Rev. Christie Neuger, a professor of pastoral theology and pastoral counseling.

    Each panelist will have time for introductory remarks, and then the floor will be open for questions and debate.

    The panel will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. today in the Brown-Lupton Student Center Lounge.