Ethics and Philosophy Expert Will Discuss Same-Sex Marriage at Baylor

February 4, 2014
Sherif Girgis

Sherif Girgis courtesy photo.

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WACO, Texas (Feb. 4, 2014) - Is there any secular, rational argument against same-sex civil marriage? Doesn't equality require it? Could a few extra marriage licenses really affect you or your marriage? What about the needs of people attracted to members of their own sex? Isn't the debate practically over?
Sherif Girgis, a Ph.D. student at Princeton University and a law student at Yale University, will make a philosophical and policy argument addressing these questions and more from his book "What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense," Thursday, Feb. 6.
Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, which will host the lecture, wanted Girgis to come to campus for the same reason it hosts any other lecture: to bring in "an informed speaker tackling an important topic that a Christian university should take very seriously," said Byron R. Johnson, Ph.D., director of ISR and distinguished professor of the social sciences in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences.
Girgis majored in philosophy at Princeton, where he won several academic prizes, including the 2007 Dante Prize for the nation's best undergraduate essay on Dante. His senior thesis on sex ethics won the Princeton prizes for best thesis in ethics and best thesis in philosophy. He went on to earn a master's degree in moral, political and legal philosophy at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and is now a philosophy Ph.D. student at Princeton and a law student at Yale Law School.
Attendees will have the chance to witness "an articular voice with keen insights on one of the most important topics facing our society," Johnson said.
Girgis' lecture will take place at 3:30 p.m. in, followed by a question-and-answer session, in the Kayser Auditorium of the Baylor Hankamer School of Business, 1428 Fifth St. Admission is free; to register, click here.
by Rachel Miller, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute's mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, ISR scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve. For more information, visit