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Professor Strassberg to lecture on polygamy and the U.S. Constitution

February 3, 2016

Maura Strassberg, professor of law at Drake Law School, will present "Scrutinizing Polygamy after Hobby Lobby and Obergefell" as part of the Drake Constitutional Law Center's Distinguished Lecture Series.

The lecture is Thursday, Feb. 4, 4 p.m., at Cartwright Hall, Room 213. The event is free and open to the public.

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that same-sex marriage is constitutionally protected under the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses, many have wondered whether polygamy should also receive constitutional protection.

In addition, recent developments in the protection of religious freedom under the First Amendment as well as federal and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts provide bases for a re-evaluation of bans on religious polygamy.

During the lecture, Strassberg will discuss whether existing laws distinguishing polygamy from same-sex marriage are the result of prejudice or justifiable reasons.

She will point to modern social science research on the harms of polygamy from a global perspective that have the potential to provide an answer to this question as well as justifications for state prohibitions on polygamy that could survive even stricter scrutiny.

Strassberg joined Drake Law School's faculty in 1991. Her areas of expertise are in contracts, ethics, sexuality law, and sales. She received her B.A. from Swarthmore College, M.A. in Philosophy at Boston University, and J.D. from Columbia University.

About the Drake Constitutional Law Center:
The Drake Constitutional Law Center is one of only four constitutional law programs established by the U.S. Congress and funded by the federal government. The Center's mission is to foster study of the U.S. Constitution and its roots, formation, principles, and development.

For more information about Drake's Constitutional Law Center, visit www.law.drake.edu/clinicsCenters/conLaw.

*This program has applied for one hour of Iowa and one hour of Federal CLE credit.