Hamline professor Stephen Kellert calls on university administration to come out against Minnesota marriage amendment

Categories: Education, GLBT
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Kellert: "This amendment represents a dangerous attempt to write discrimination into the heart of Minnesota law, an act that is fundamentally incompatible with our institution's stated values."
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Stephen Kellert, a longtime professor of philosophy at Hamline University in St. Paul, is calling on university administration to come out against Minnesota's marriage-restricting constitutional amendment.

Citing the university's official Discrimination Policy, Kellert recently sent a letter to Hamline President Linda Hanson and Provost Eric Jensen in which he argues that "Where publicly stated values are shown to be empty of practical import, honest inquiry must eventually wither."

The Methodist-affiliated university's Discrimination Policy states that the school "does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its education or employment programs or activities." That implies that a gay marriage ban would be inconsistent with university policy, but administration has thus far stayed mum.

Late last month, Hamline sociology professor Melissa Embser-Herbert created a Hamline Supports the Freedom to Marry Facebook page. The page has already attracted over 2,700 hundred members, including nearly 2,000 within the first day of its existence. Hamline's total enrollment of undergraduate and graduate students is roughly 4,850.

Augsburg College -- an ACTC sister of Hamline's -- officially came out against the amendment last month, becoming the first "traditional college" in the state to do so. In May, the University of Minnesota's system-wide Senate voted to oppose the amendment, but U of M administration, like Hamline's, hasn't yet taken an official stand.

To see the full text of Kellert's letter, click to page two.


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