Tulane panel to explore marriage equality on Constitution Day

September 11, 2013

Barri Bronston
Phone: 504-314-7444

Tulane University Law School will mark Constitution Day on Tuesday (Sept. 17) with a panel discussion exploring the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings on marriage equality.

Titled “Marriage Equality After Windsor: Where Are They Now?” the event will take place at 11:30 a.m. at Tulane Law School, Weinmann Hall, Appellate Moot Court Room 110, 6329 Freret St. It is free and open to the public.

The panel will feature Tulane Law School professors Catherine Hancock, Robert Westley and Saru Matambanadzo, with Vice Dean Ronald Scalise serving as moderator.

Constitution Day, also called Citizenship Day, commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. 

In U.S. v. Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional because it denied equal protection of the laws to same-sex couples legally married in the states where they live. While the ruling extended numerous federal protections to gay couples, the court did not say states have to recognize same-sex marriages.

That has led to various conflicts that must be resolved. For instance, the Louisiana National Guard recently said it wouldn't follow a Pentagon policy requiring the military to honor spousal benefits for same-sex couples because the state Constitution bars gay marriage.

Hancock teaches First Amendment, Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law and Law & Gender, and her scholarly work on constitutional issues includes areas such as privacy and hate speech.

Westley teaches Constitutional Law and is well-versed on the 14th Amendment and the rights of groups.

Matambanadzo, an associate professor of law, is the author of the newest edition of “West’s Sex Discrimination in a Nutshell” (forthcoming 2014) and teaches Gender, Law & Public Policy as well as Law & Sexuality.

Scalise specializes in civil and comparative law.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000