University of Oxford's Iain McLean Will Lecture at Robert T. Miller Annual Lecture in Political Science

Iain McLean, Ph.D.
Iain McLean, Ph.D.
Oct. 4, 2013

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WACO, Texas (Oct. 4, 2013) - The department of political science in the Baylor College of Arts and Sciences has invited Iain McLean, Ph.D., Official Fellow in Politics in the department of politics and international relations in the University of Oxford's Nuffield College, to speak at the annual Robert T. Miller Annual Lecture in Political Science. McLean will be presenting his topic, "Religious freedom with No First Amendment: The Case of U.K. Marriage Law."

In 2004, the United Kingdom passed the Civil Partnership Act, giving same-sex couples the same legal rights and responsibilities as married heterosexual couples. "This reflects the astonishing social change in the last two decades in the U.K. and other liberal democracies," McLean said in an article he authored on OpenDemocracy.net.

"This is a very difficult subject for faith communities, many of which have been left stranded; and many of which have a principled opposition to recognising same-sex relationships in their churches, synagogues or temples," he wrote. "That opposition must be honoured, if religious freedom is to mean anything; but equally, so must the principles of those who do want to recognise same-sex commitments in their places of worship."

Jerry Waltman, Ph.D., R.W. Morrison Professor of Political Science at Baylor and editor of Oxford University Press' Journal of Church and State, has attended various events where McLean lectured. "I think he's an outstanding scholar," Waltman said. "He's a premier scholar of the British constitution."

McLean will be the first from the U.K. and the first expert on the British constitution to speak at the lecture series. Students will find the lecture "makes an interesting comparison with what we do in the United States," Waltman said.

Robert T. Miller, Ph.D., for whom this lecture is named, devoted his life to Baylor University and teaching political science. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Baylor prior to earning the Ph.D. in government at the University of Texas at Austin. He taught at Baylor University from 1946 to 1995 and died in July 1996.

The lecture will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7, in the Bennett Auditorium, Room 172, of Draper Academic Building, 1420 S. Seventh St. The event is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow. For more information visit http://www.baylor.edu/political_science/.

by Rachel Miller, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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