"Does God Approve of Same-Sex Marriage," An Interfaith Discussion at Fairfield University



G BlaszczakDoes God Approve of Same-Sex Marriage?

A panel of individuals who are Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant will explore the facets of that question at a Fairfield University forum on Wednesday, February 23, at 4:30 p.m. Free and open to the public and campus community, the event will take place on the lower level of the Barone Campus Center (BCC).

Each panelist will bring a different perspective to the table, making for an opportunity to learn about how different faith traditions have viewed gay and lesbian marriages in the past and how these views are changing.

"I will be speaking about the methods in which Muslim communities have responded to same-sex unions in a contemporary context," said Heba Youssef, muslim chaplain at Fairfield. "[I'll also discuss] how to balance a reading of the Qur'anic scripture regarding homosexuality in a way that still allows us to have a humane level of discourse and to act in a dignified manner with all God's creations."

In addition to Youssef, the panelists include: Paul F. Lakeland, Ph.D., the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies and professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield. He is the director of the university's Center for Catholic Studies. Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz, assistant Rabbi at Congregation B'nai Israel in Bridgeport. David P. Schmidt, Ph.D., associate professor of Business Ethics, and director of the Program in Applied Ethics at Fairfield.

E UmanskyActing as moderators will be Rev. Gerry Blaszczak, S.J., university chaplain, and Ellen M. Umansky, Ph.D., Carl and Dorothy Bennett Professor of Judaic Studies at Fairfield. She is the director of the university's Bennett Center for Judaic Studies.

Questions the moderators will pose include: What does your faith tradition understand the nature of marriage to be? Would it or could it include same-sex marriage in its definition of marriage? Isn't marriage a human right? What direction do you see your faith traditions and communities taking in the future?

The forum is sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies, the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and the Office of the University Chaplain.

Refreshments will be served.

Image: Rev. Gerry Blaszczak, S.J., (top) university chaplain, and Ellen M. Umansky, Ph.D., Carl and Dorothy Bennett Professor of Judaic Studies, moderators of the forum.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 18, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 208