Nussbaum, a commentator on cosmopolitanism and emotions from the University of Chicago professor, spoke to a crowd of about 90 about “Same-Sex Marriage and Constitutional Law: Beyond the Politics of Disgust” Tuesday night in Emerson Suites.
Nussbaum is the tenth annual lecturer in the Distinguished Speakers in the Humanities series presented by the School of Humanities and Sciences.
The lecture focused on the emotion of disgust with the gay and lesbian sex act that, as Nussbaum argues, prevents the U.S. from allowing same-sex marriages. She said that because the constitution does not bar any other group from marrying, gays should have the same right.
Nussbaum said that presenting this issue to students is important because it allows them to be aware of different viewpoints and know what is going on in the world.
“On this topic, it’s good to hear a wide range of arguments,” she said. “Same-sex marriage is the issue of our day and I just hope that I could express something that would put it in a perspective that would be useful for people when they’re thinking about it.”
The lecture coincided with a seminar for students in the H&S Honors program with the final class led by Nussbaum before her lecture.
David Garcia, executive associate dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, said that the Honors seminar helped students learn even outside the classroom.
“[The honors seminar is] a pilot with interesting potential for expanding the connection of in- and out-of-class activities on campus,” he said.
Not only students from the seminar attended the event. Senior and IC Feminist executive board member Matthew Worhach said the group cancelled their meeting to attend the lecture. Nussbaum’s thought process on same-sex marriage was impressive, he said.
“It was really nice to have that affirmation that these are rational, logical ways of thinking in terms of the [same-sex] marriage debate,” Worhach said.