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Expert Alert

U of M expert available to comment on federal appeals court ruling on California's Proposition 8

February 7, 2012

A federal appeals court today determined California's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the issue next year. A University of Minnesota expert who can provide insight on this decision and what it might mean for Minnesota is:  

Edward Schiappa, professor, Department of Communication Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Schiappa says both sides in Minnesota will try to spin the decision to spur fundraising, but in fact the decision has no direct effect on Minnesota.

“The decision is not so much about gay marriage as it is about Prop 8 as a citizen initiative,” Schiappa says. “The Supreme Court decision will not be about gay marriage, per se, but solely about whether it is constitutional in California to target a group to take away a right that they had.”

In fact, the Supreme Court will probably go out of their way to make clear they are not ruling about gay marriage, Schiappa says.

Schiappa is the department chair and teaches graduate courses on contemporary rhetorical theory, critical communication studies, rhetorical criticism and popular culture criticism. For a recent presentation he gave on “Defining Marriage in California: An Analysis of Public & Technical Argument,” see

To interview Schiappa, contact Jeff Falk at (612) 626-1720 or

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts

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