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South Dakota Law Review and OUTlaws Lavender Lecture Tackles LGBT IssuesNews

Symposium to Focus on Same Sex Marriage and Gender Issues

LGBT issues will be the focus of a lecture and symposium at the University of South Dakota School of Law March 26-27, sponsored by the South Dakota Law Review and the OUTlaws Organization.

Thursday, March 26, at 5:30 p.m., the OUTlaws will hold their third annual Lavender Lecture in the Law School Courtroom. On Friday, March 27, the South Dakota Law Review will hold three panel discussions as part of their annual symposium, this year entitled “Many Voices: A Discussion of LGBTQ Marriage Rights and Transgender Rights.” Invited panelists for the symposium have written from both sides of the debate.

“These are cutting-edge legal topics broadly reported by the media. We have cases at all levels of our court system about these issues, and it’s great to see our students continue the conversation,” said Law School Dean Tom Geu. “It’s just this sort of discussion that is essential to legal education.”

The Lavender Lecture will feature Professor Ryan Scott from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law in Bloomington. His presentation will elaborate on the unsuccessful uses of the "gay/trans" panic defense and his discussion about ways a recent ABA resolution might lessen the effectiveness and use of the defense.

Scott teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Federal Jurisdiction at the Maurer School of Law. He is also co-chair of the LGBT Committee of the ABA Criminal Justice Section. Professor Scott, as a member of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, assisted in the American Bar Association's resolution, which has been adopted by the House of Delegates, urging legislation to curtail the use and availability of the "gay/trans" panic defense. He earned his B.A. at Macalester College in 1998 and his J.D. in 2005 from the University of Minnesota.

The South Dakota Law Review’s Symposium on Friday will focus on same sex marriage and transgender issues. The symposium will be composed of three panels in the law school courtroom from 10:00-11:30 a.m., 1:00-2:30 p.m., and 3:00-4:30 p.m. Speakers will include legal scholars, professors, and practitioners.

Panel I: Transgender Rights                                             10:00–11:30 a.m.

Professor Gabriel Arkles, Associate Academic Specialist, Northeastern University School of Law
Professor Luke Boso, Visiting Professor at San Francisco School of Law
Brody Ray, Speaker on Transgender Issues
Attorney Dick Casey, Specialist in Employment Law
Dean Richard Bales, Dean of Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law

Panel II: Same Sex Marriage                                             1:00–2:30 p.m.

Professor John Culhane, Distinguished Professor of Law, Widener School of Law
Dr. Mark Strasser, Trustees Professor of Law, Capital University School of Law
Dr. Susan Mezey, Professor of Political Science, Loyola University
Professor George Dent, Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Panel III: Same Sex Marriage                                             3:00–4:30 p.m.

Dr. Vincent Samar, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University
Professor Aaron Fellmeth, Professor of Law, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’ Conner College of Law
Professor Teresa Collett, Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law,


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News