Same-sex marriage, domestic violence topics of November speakers series


Same-sex marriage, domestic violence topics of November speakers series at CSU - Pueblo
PUEBLO – The 2009-2010 Distinguished Speakers Series at Colorado State University-Pueblo will commence this month with a debate on same-sex marriage and an actress who will discuss her experiences as a survivor of domestic violence.

On Nov. 11, Glenn Stanton, Senior Analyst for Marriage and Sexuality and the Director of Social Research and Cultural Affairs at Focus on the Family, and John Corvino, Ph.D., philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit (MI), will engage in a civil debate about same-sex marriage. The debate will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11 in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

On Nov. 17, actress and author Robin Givens will chronicle her escape from her relationship with former boxer Michael Tyson. Givens wrote about this tumultuous relationship and her experiences with domestic violence in her memoir, Grace Will Lead Me Home. Her lecture also will begin at 7 p.m. in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom. 

The 2009-2010 Distinguished Speakers Series will feature eminent national or international speakers who contribute to current thought in social or political activities, in the arts and sciences, or other realm of contemporary significance. This eight-part series is an opportunity to learn from scholars, politicians, and business people, who can inspire students and community members to think critically about current issues, trends, events, knowledge, diversity, and leadership. Events will be co-sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, Student Fee Governing Board, Associated Students’ Government, and the Diversity Resource Center.

Corvino and Stanton – two of the nation’s leading and opposing voices on this issue will bring clarity and civility to this otherwise divisive topic. Stanton, a same-sex marriage opponent, argues that such marriages would erode our understanding of humanity by treating male or female as optional for the family. Corvino, a same-sex marriage advocate, argues that recognizing same-sex unions would be good not only for gay people, but also for society at large, since society has an interest in promoting happy, stable, and loving relationships.

In the course of their debates, Stanton and Corvino address many sub-topics, including the needs of children, the complementarily of the sexes, the alleged slippery-slope towards polygamy and aolyamory, and whether same-sex marriage is a civil-rights issue. Corvino is editor of Same Sex: Debating the Ethics, Science, and Culture of Homosexuality. Stanton has authored or contributed

to nine books on the intersections of family and cutting social issues, including Why Marriage
Matters: Reasons to Believe in Marriage in Postmodern Society and Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting.  

Givens wanted to become a doctor, but while enrolled in the pre-med program at Sarah Lawrence College, she decided to pursue acting. A guest appearance on The Cosby Show, the hottest show on television at the time, ignited a friendship with Bill Cosby who avidly supported her career. She went on to star in numerous television series as well as in television and movies with some of Hollywood’s top leading actresses like Faye Dunaway, Kathy Bates, and Cicely Tyson and leading men like Eddie Murphy and Academy Award Winner Forrest Whitaker.

In 1988, she married boxing legend Mike Tyson, a union which put her in the national spotlight. The marriage ended 16 months later after rumors of abuse and infidelity surfaced. Givens says he brutalized her throughout their marriage, and now she has chosen to break her silence about the violence.  As a result of her life experiences and the publication of her book, Givens has found her voice as an effective advocate for the victims of domestic violence.


Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.