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Key Players in 'Utah Compromise' Discussing Civil Solutions to Marriage License Debate at UK Law

Utah Senate Majority Whip J. Stuart Adams and Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson, director of the Family Law and Policy Program at the University of Illinois, will give a talk titled, "Kim Davis and Religious Objectors to Obergefell: In Search of More Civil Solutions" at the University of Kentucky College of Law

By: Whitney Harder

September 28, 2015

Addressing the ongoing legal dilemma of religious objections to a same sex marriage ruling, two key players in the "Utah compromise" will speak at the University of Kentucky College of Law at noon Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Utah Senate Majority Whip J. Stuart Adams and Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson, director of the Family Law and Policy Program at the University of Illinois, will give a talk titled, "Kim Davis and Religious Objectors to Obergefell: In Search of More Civil Solutions."

The discussion will take place in the UK College of Law courtroom, Room 102, and is open to the public.

Senator Adams was a chief sponsor of the two bills forming the Utah compromise — an effort to balance LGBTQ* rights and religious freedom — and Wilson was an advisor on the landmark legislation, helping write both bills and testifying before the Utah judiciary committee and the Senate Caucus.

Together, the bills include antidiscrimination protections in housing and employment, and religious liberty protections for religious institutions. The Utah compromise also allows county clerks to opt out of issuing a marriage license because of religious objections, but requires counties to make a willing substitute available during business hours for any couple asking to be married.

Senator Adams has served as the senator for Utah's 22nd District since 2009, previously serving in the Utah State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2006. A businessman prior to entering legislative service, Adams received a bachelor's degree in business finance from the University of Utah. 

Professor Wilson, a member of the American Law Institute, specializes in family law and health law, and her research and teaching interests include biomedical ethics, law and science, children and violence, and insurance. Wilson is the author of seven books, including "Reconceiving the Family:  Critical Reflections on the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution" and "Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty" among others.