The Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas kicks off its new “Hot Topics” “Cool Talk” speaker series with a discussion on Minnesota’s proposed constitutional amendment, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The discussion will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, in Room 235 at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in downtown Minneapolis.

Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and co-author of The Case for Marriage, will present one side of the debate, and Dale Carpenter, University of Minnesota professor of civil rights and civil liberties law, will offer a different perspective.

This is the first event in the series, which aims to provide a forum for dialogue on current political issues in a context divorced from the heat of a political campaign. Each program will consist of two expert speakers respectfully engaging in a civil discourse on a policy issue important to the 2012 election. 

The next two discussions in the series will feature:

Embryo Rights and Stem Cell Research
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 4 p.m., Room 235, School of Law
Presenters: Carter Snead, Notre Dame Law School, and Lynn Wardle, Brigham Young University Law School

Balancing the Budget
Friday, Dec. 9, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 235, School of Law
Presenter: Greg Sisk, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Future topics in the series include: Healthcare Reform, Challenges to Institutional Religious Liberty, Immigration Policy, Punishment Theory, and Rights of Workers. See a full schedule at the Murphy Institute website.

The series is free and open to the public. For lunchtime talks, lunch will be provided to all who register online. Visit the Murphy Institute website for a complete schedule and to register.