Detroit Mercy Law McElroy lecture on law and religion on March 16

Three Nationally-Renowned Legal Scholars Address Religious Exemptions in Same-Sex Marriages

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will host its 18th McElroy Lecture on Law and Religion on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. This year’s topic is Religious Exemptions in Same-Sex Marriages. Professor Kent Greenawalt of Columbia Law School is the lecturer. He will be joined by two commentators:  Andrew M. Koppelman, the John Paul Stevens Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University; and Michael P. Moreland, a Professor at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law and Concurrent Professor at University of Notre Dame Law School.

Kent Greenawalt has been a Professor at Columbia Law School since 1965. Before joining the Columbia faculty, he was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John M. Harlan. He also served as Deputy U.S. Solicitor General from 1971-72. His scholarship focuses on constitutional law and jurisprudence, with special emphasis on church and state, freedom of speech, legal interpretation, and criminal responsibility. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College, Bachelor of Philosophy from University of Oxford, and Bachelor of Laws from Columbia Law School.

The McElroy Lecture Series provides a forum for prominent thinkers and leaders to address fundamental issues of law, religion, and society. It seeks to educate students, legal professionals, and the wider public on a variety of questions related to moral philosophy, freedom of conscience, the interaction of legal and religious institutions, and the role of religion in public life. Its goal is to encourage discussion of these issues in our community and deepen our understanding of them.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was the first to give the McElroy lecture in 1995. Since then, other notable lecturers have included (in chronological order) Professor Stephen L. Carter, Cardinal Adam Maida, Hon. John T. Noonan, Jr., Professor Michael John Perry, Professor Jaroslav Pelikan, Ph.D., Dennis W. Archer, Professor Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Professor Cass R. Sunstein, Professor Noah Feldman, Professor Leslie Griffin, Ph.D., Cardinal Roger Mahony, Professor John Witte, Jr., Professor Douglas M. Laycock, Professor Marci A. Hamilton, Professor Sarah Barringer Gordon, and Professor Nelson Tebbe. 

The annual McElroy Lecture is made possible through a gift from the estate of alumnus Philip J. McElroy. Mr. McElroy received a bachelor of science and bachelor, master, and doctor of law degrees from the University.

The lecture begins at 5:00 p.m. in room 226 on the Detroit Mercy Law campus, located at 651 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit. The lecture is complimentary and open to the public. Parking is provided nearby at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in the parking garage at 611 Congress Street.

For additional details and to register online, visit

About University of Detroit Mercy - University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan’s largest, private Catholic University with more than 100 academic majors and programs. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy, the University has campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

 UDM is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the largest of 17 Mercy institutions of higher education in the United States. For the 15th consecutive year, University of Detroit Mercy is listed in the top tier of Midwest universities in the 2016 edition of the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges.”

About University of Detroit Mercy School of Law - University of Detroit Mercy School of Law was founded in 1912. The School is approved by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

The School of Law’s innovative curriculum integrates theory, doctrine, and practice through its nationally-recognized Clinical Program, Legal Writing Program, and the Law Firm Program. The School places social justice and engagement in global affairs at the core of its educational missions.

For more information about Detroit Mercy Law, please visit