An author known for her support of traditional marriages will speak at the University of St. Thomas just prior to St. Valentine’s Day.

Maggie Gallagher will discuss “Character, Courtship and Marriage” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.

The talk, sponsored by St. Thomas’ Center for Catholic Studies, is free and open to the public. For more information, call the center at (651) 962-5700.

Gallagher is co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially that was published by Doubleday last October.

A nationally syndicated opinion columnist for New York Newsday since 1993, Gallagher is an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values. A 1982 Yale graduate, she formerly was a senior fellow at the Center for Social Thought and was an editor at National Review and the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.

Her first book, Enemies of Eros: How the Sexual Revolution is Killing Family, Marriage and Sex, was published in 1989. She also is the author of The Abolition of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love, published in 1996.

“The tendency among social scientists has been to conceptualize marriage as an external, structural category and to look beneath the piece of paper for the ‘real’ reasons married people appear healthier and happier,” she writes in her most recent book. “But in American society, marriage is not just a label, it remains a transformative act — marriage not only names a relationship but it creates a relationship between two people, one that is acknowledged, not just by the couple itself, but by the couple’s kin, friends, religious community, and larger society.”