By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — David Richards, the Edwin D. Webb Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, will give the talk, "Gay Rights and American Constitutionalism: From Unspeakability to Voice," Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University
The event, which is free and open to the public, is held in celebration of Constitution Day. It is co-sponsored by the Putterman Lecture Series and the Legal Studies program at Bucknell.
"With the endorsement of same-sex marriage by President Obama and the Democratic Party, gay rights will take center-stage in this year's election," said Michael James, assistant professor of political science at Bucknell.
"Professor Richards' path-breaking work on this issue is indispensable to improving our understanding of the rights of the GBLT community under the Constitution and in American society," he said.
Richards is the author of 17 books, including Identity and the Case for Gay Rights (University of Chicago Press, 1999), Disarming Manhood: Roots of Ethical Resistance (Ohio University/Swallow Press, 2005), Women, Gays, and the Constitution (University of Chicago Press, 1998), Toleration and the Constitution (Oxford University Press, 1986), and Free Speech and the Politics of Identity (Oxford University Press, 1999).
His most recent work is Fundamentalism in American Religion and Law: Patriarchy as Threat to Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
A graduate of Harvard and Oxford universities, he holds his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he served as Shikes Lecturer in Civil Liberties in 1998.
A teacher of both constitutional law and criminal law, Richards was a founder of the Law School's internationally distinguished Program for the Study of Law, Philosophy, and Social Theory. He was a Humanities Fellow at the Aspen Institute in 1979, was named Vice President of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy in 1984, and has been a Fellow of the University's Society of Fellows, which he chaired for several years.
Constitution Day was proposed in 2004 by Sen. Robert C. Byrd as a way to ensure that students gain an increased knowledge and appreciation for this valuable and important document of freedom. Congress declared Sept. 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, commemorating the day the document was adopted in 1787.
The Putterman Lecture was established by Arnold L. Putterman, a 1960 Bucknell graduate. The lecture is intended to address prominent current issues with a specific focus on politics, government and/or the economy.
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