Author: Brandon Beckham

Supreme Court deliberates two cases involving same-sex marriage

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases involving same-sex marriage: Hollingsworth v. Perry, dealing with California’s Proposition 8, and U.S. v. Windsor, dealing with the Defense of Marriage Act. A ruling on what constitutes the definition of marriage, equal protection under the law and Constitutional rights may have an impact on American society. Other issues involve the rights of children and the power of individual states to regulate marriage. Val Peterson, a House Representative of District 59 in the Utah Legislature, believes a ruling that redefines marriage will have an adverse effect on families. “The family is the basic building block of society and once that begins to erode, so does society,” Peterson said. Utah House Representative Mike Kennedy of District 27 believes individual states should decide the issue of marriage. He also thinks wedded same-sex couples shouldn’t be denied benefits that are otherwise given to traditionally married couples, which the Defense of Marriage Act does. “I’m very uncomfortable with the Supreme Court defining marriage since society has already done that for thousands of years,” Kennedy said. The Defense of Marriage Act, also referred to as DOMA, is a federal law passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 that requires states to recognize only traditional marriages for federal benefits. Today, there are over 1,100 federal marriage benefits. In the case of...

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Benjamin Franklin’s Intellectual World

  More than 150 students, distinguished guests and members of the press packed the Lakeview Room in the library on Feb. 26 to listen to an academic panel discuss different aspects of Benjamin Franklin’s life, his contributions to the founding of the United States and the betterment of society.   The Center for Constitutional Studies hosted a panel on “Benjamin Franklin’s Intellectual World,” a newly published book edited by Dr. Paul E. Kerry and UVU President Matthew Holland that illustrates the inner workings Ben Franklin’s mind.   Speakers included Dr. Rick A. Griffin, director of the Center; Dr. Kerry; President Holland; and Roy E. Goodman of the American Philosophical Society, who also wrote the book’s afterword. The book features the collective work and essays of several scholars.   “There is a lot for students to learn from essays,” Holland said.   Holland provided some initial reflections on Franklin and explained the book project began when he and colleague Kerry began having discussions on the founding of America and political philosophy while at Brigham Young University. A special scholarly conference followed soon after at the University of Cambridge in England.   Among all the American Founders, Holland said, Franklin seems like he would be the most likely to love UVU.   “He was fun, playful, but also very studious, always learning and intellectually serious,” Holland said.   Kerry spoke on...

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