Linfield speaker to discuss marriage debate

Pricilla YaminPriscilla Yamin, assistant professor of political science at the University of Oregon, will present “Marriage: A Political Institution,” Monday, April 15, at 11:45 a.m. in the Pioneer Reading Room at Linfield College.

Yamin will examine marriage as a political institution as well as a religious and cultural one. In its political dimension, marriage delineates both the meaning and the concrete terms of citizenship. It represents communal duty, moral education and social and civic status. At the same time, it represents individual choice, contract, liberty, and independence from the state. According to Yamin, these opposing but interrelated characteristics generate a tension between a politics of obligations and a politics of rights.

Yamin will talk about how the current debate over same sex-marriage is only the most recent manifestation of the debate shrouding marriage in the United States. She will also cover it from the perspective that those questions can only be answered by viewing marriage as a political institution as well as a religious and cultural one. The lecture will address what is at stake for those who want to restrict same-sex marriage and for those who seek to extend it.

Yamin is a faculty affiliate at the Center for the Study of Women in Society. Her areas of research include feminist theory, American politics, political culture and identity intersections. She is the author of “American Marriage: A Political Institution.”

The lecture is free and open to the public, and sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights and Justice. Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. and the lecture will begin at noon. For more information, contact Nick Buccola, assistant professor of political science, 503-883-2246,