CORVALLIS, Ore. - Two nationally prominent speakers, who have appeared in many debates across the country on the subject of gay marriage, will present divergent points of view on the issue at an upcoming Oregon State University Socratic Club event.

The debate will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21, at LaSells Stewart Center's Austin Auditorium, located at 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

Gay marriage has been one of society's most controversial issues for the past several years. The speakers will take on questions such as: should same-sex couples have the same right to marry that heterosexual couples have, and is homosexual activity within a committed monogamous relationship truly marriage?

Maggie Gallagher will argue that marriage between a woman and a man is the fundamental, cross-cultural institution for insuring that children have loving, committed mothers and fathers. Gallagher is a writer and commentator who is president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and the National Organization for Marriage. She is the author of five books, including "The Abolition of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love"; and (with Linda Waite) "The Case for Marriage." She has written a syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate since 1995.

John Corvino will argue that extending marriage to gay couples is good for those couples and good for society at large, because society has an interest in promoting stable partnerships for all its members, straight and gay alike. Corvino is associate professor of philosophy at Wayne State University, where he has taught ethical theory, applied ethics, and early modern philosophy since 1998. His column, "The Gay Moralist," appears weekly at

The debate is sponsored by OSU's Socratic Club, a student organization dedicated to the intellectual and philosophical discussion and debate of the issues surrounding modern Christianity.

Each speaker is given 25 minutes to present one side of an issue, after which the two discuss their differences before the floor is opened to questions from members of the audience.

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Gary Ferngren, 541-737-1262