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UWFox Hosts Debate on Amendment Banning Same Sex Marriage

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A topic that is as timely as today’s news is the focus of a debate scheduled for March 7 from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Student Union at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley. Entitled, “Should There Be a Constitutional Ban on Same Sex Marriage in Wisconsin?” the event is free and open to the public with unreserved seating available on a first-come, first served basis.

Principle participants in the debate include Julaine K. Appling, Executive Director of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin (Madison), and Curt Anderson, Pastor at the First Congregational United Church of Christ (Madison). The debate is being moderated by Will Curl, Ph.D., lecturer in English at UWFox.

Appling has been a Wisconsin resident for over 18 years. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, a Bachelor of Science in English Education, and a Master of Science in Educational Administration and Supervision. Through the years she has done additional graduate-level course work at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee.

For nearly 10 years Appling taught on the middle school through college levels. Her primary teaching areas have been history, government, English, and education courses. Additionally, she was the administrator of a private school for 5 years. She has also been an office manager for a small law firm in Milwaukee.

In October, 1997, Appling joined the Family Research Institute (FRI) of Wisconsin as Director of Office Operations. She served in that capacity until November, 1998, when she was asked to become the Executive Director of FRI.

As Executive Director, Appling is responsible to the Board of Directors for the overall operation of FRI, including such activities as development; public and media relations; issue advocacy in the legislature and grassroots; citizen, church and policymaker education; long-range planning; and financial oversight. Presently, she writes and produces FRI's weekly radio broadcast, "Wisconsin Family Connection," which is currently aired on about 20 Christian radio stations around the state. Most recently, Appling has become a statewide leader in the effort to preserve traditional one-man/one-woman marriage in Wisconsin.

Throughout the years, Appling has had the opportunity to speak on a variety of topics to a variety of groups. She has presented numerous workshops at education conventions, conducted in-service seminars for private schools, and has also spoken in churches and for home-education groups, as well as to a variety of community and civic organizations, such as Rotary Clubs and women's groups.

Anderson attended the Pacific School of Religion where he received a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies and a Master of Divinity degree. He received a Ph.D. in Theological Studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation. He has served churches in Iowa, Michigan, California and Wisconsin.

His Wisconsin service included a church in Janesville, from 1982-1994, and the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Madison since November 2000. First Congregational UCC is an Open & Affirming church, welcoming and benefiting from the participation and leadership of gay and lesbian individuals as well as same gender couples.

Anderson is one of the co-coordinators of “Christians for Equality in Wisconsin,” an ecumenical group of clergy and lay people whose purpose is the defeat of the proposed constitutional amendment, and is also part of the “United Church of Christ Pastors Against the Amendment,” whose purpose is the same.

Curl earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan. He attended graduate school at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, receiving both his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in English.

Further information about the debate or its participants is available from Jeff Kuepper, tudent Activities Coordinator at UWFox, at 920-832-2671 or via e-mail, jeff.kuepper@uwc.edu.

Posted 3/4/2005