Deliberative Democracy Day Examines Same-Sex Rights


OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University students and faculty will explore issues surrounding legal rights and same-sex marriage as part of American Democracy Day 2012.

This year, students were offered the opportunity to answer a questionnaire asking about their attitudes regarding same-sex marriage rights in the United States. The topic was chosen by the WSU Student Senate.

On Feb. 22, students who have responded to the questionnaire will be invited to participate in student-facilitated discussions of some of the issues raised in the survey. They will also ask questions of experts Marie Cornwall of Brigham Young University, William Duncan of the Sutherland Institute, Barry Gomberg of WSU, and attorney Jane Marquardt. This panel discussion, which is open to the public, will be held at 1:30 p.m. in Shepherd Union Ballroom B.

After the deliberations, students will be surveyed again to see if their attitudes changed. “This isn’t so much a debate as it is a larger examination of an issue that has a major impact on Utah and the nation,” said Gary Johnson, WSU associate professor of political science.

WSU is one of several campuses across the country participating in a Deliberative Democracy initiative as part of the American Democracy Project sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

The WSU project is based on the process developed by The Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, which is devoted to research about democracy and public opinion. Go to for more information.

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Gary Johnson, associate political science professor
801-626-6697 •

Kathryn MacKay, associate history professor
801-626-6782 •

Aaron Newman, assistant director, Student Involvement & Leadership
801-626-8912 • 


Kathryn MacKay, associate history professor
801-626-6782 •