Coitus Conflictus: Sex, America, and the Constitution

Date/Time
Date(s) - 04/24/17
6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Location
Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Hosted by
Chicago Council


 

Coitus Conflictus: Sex, America, and the Constitution

Chicago Council

Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law and Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago; Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago. Moderated by Christie Hefner, Former Chairman and CEO, Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Days after the inauguration, the Trump administration announced that American aid money would stop flowing to foreign nonprofits working on abortion. This action illustrates America’s long-standing moral and legal tensions related to sex. Throughout American history, conflicts over such issues as the legal regulation of contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and pornography have divided our nation and led to fundamental debates about the meaning of our Constitution. How did sex become so intertwined with religion and law when the Founding Fathers embraced Enlightenment attitudes grounded in reason, individual freedom, the pursuit of happiness, and the separation of church and state? What can the epic story of sex and the Constitution teach us about how to navigate these controversial issues both in our own nation and in our approach to such questions globally?

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Tom Ginsburg

Leo Spitz Professor of International Law and Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

Tom Ginsburg is the Leo Spitz professor of international law at the University of Chicago, where he also holds an appointment in the political science department. He currently co-directs the Comparative Constitutions Project, an effort funded by the National Science Foundation to gather and analyze the constitutions of all independent nation-states since 1789. He was previously a legal adviser at the Iran-US Claims Tribunal in The Hague, and he continues to work with international development agencies and foreign governments on legal and constitutional reform.

 

Geoffrey R. Stone

Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago

Geoffrey R. Stone is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service professor of law at the University of Chicago. A former dean of the University of Chicago Law School and provost of the University of Chicago, he is one of the nation’s leading constitutional scholars. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Law Institute, the National Advisory Council of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Philosophical Society. In recent years, he has served as chair of the board of the American Constitution Society. His most recent book, Sex and the Constitution, the focus of this event, has received rave reviews from historians, journalists, and legal scholars.

Christie Hefner

Former Chairman and CEO, Playboy Enterprises, Inc

Christie Hefner was chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. from 1988 to 2008, making her the longest-serving female chairman and CEO of a US public company. While at Playboy, she was involved in 1st Amendment battles with the Moral Majority, the Meese Commission, and Congress. For three years she was named to Fortune’s list of “Most Powerful Women.” Currently, she serves on the board of the Center for American Progress Action, and previously served on the board of the ACLU of Illinois for over twenty years as well as the board of the Masters & Johnson Institute

 

 

 

 

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