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U.Va. Conference To Examine Complicated Issues Surrounding Marriage, Same-Sex Partnerships

October 27, 2000 -- The provocative questions swirling around the institution of marriage as it was, is, and one day may be will be explored in a Nov. 9-10 conference sponsored by the University of Virginia’s Center for Children, Families and the Law.

Sociology, psychology and law experts representing a variety of viewpoints will discuss their recent research on and innovative efforts to promote both traditional and nontraditional partnerships. Sessions will run from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 and from 8:45 a.m. to 12 noon on Nov. 10 in the Law School's Caplin Auditorium.

"Marriage is a private union that has become a political issue. The conference highlights a surprisingly controversial issue: What is the role of the state in encouraging, or in some cases, permitting marriage?" asked center director and U.Va. psychology professor Robert Emery.

On Nov. 10 at 9 a.m., Cornell University Law School professor Martha Fineman will pose the question "Why Marriage?" as she delves into the possible ramifications of abolishing laws that support marriage, as well as the specific consequences of marriage for women.

Should couples stay together for the sake of children? At 10:45 a.m. on Nov. 9 Pennsylvania State University professor Paul Amato will speak on the effect of divorce on children in high-discord versus low-discord marriages.

The controversial topic of same-sex marriages will be addressed Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m. by Stanford Law School professor Michael Wald as he questions "How Should Same-Sex Partnerships be Recognized?" He will examine state family laws and the possible implications of extending legal recognition to nontraditional unions.

Other distinguished speakers, a roundtable discussion on "National, State, and Community-Level Strategies for Strengthening Marriage" and general discussion periods round out the program.

The public is invited to attend the conference, which costs $50. U.Va. faculty, staff and students are admitted free. For information on the conference, contact Kristine LaLonde at (804) 924-4029 or lalonde@virginia.edu.

Contact: Jessica Tyree, (804) 924-7116

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Last Modified: Friday, 27-Oct-2000 14:23:42 EDT
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