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Religious leaders debate gay marriage during CWC 'Hot Topic' discussion

Feb 24, 2013 - From staff reports

Marriage equality is the subject of the first in a series of Central Wyoming College "Hot Topic" discussions at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Sponsored by the CWC Diversity Committee, the conversation between two religious leaders with opposing views on gay marriage is preceded by a free soup and salad luncheon in room 103 of the CWC Student Center.

Father J. Kenneth Asel, an Episcopal priest at St. John's Church in Jackson, and the Rev. John C. Rankin, president of the Theological Education Institute, discuss the subject following the lunch in the Little Theatre, located across the hall from the luncheon in the Student Center. Time is allowed at the end of the discussion for a question and answer session.

Asel has been an Episcopal priest since 1973, serving parishes in New York, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas and North Carolina before coming to Wyoming as rector of St. John's in 2003. He has also been employed on the diocesan and national level, primarily in the field of Christian Formation. He is the author and producer of materials in that field and is a sought after consultant in congregational development.

Rankin is a West Hartford, Conn., native and grew us as an agnostic Unitarian before his conversion to a biblical and evangelical faith at the age of 14 in 1967. He is the founder of the Mars Hills Forum series, the Pre-Partisan Caucus and TEI Radio. In 2013, TEI is founding a leadership school in East Africa. His books include "The Big Bang of Genesis 1-2," "The Six Pillars of Biblical Power," "The Six Pillars of Honest Politics," and "Jesus, in the Face of His Enemies."

The Diversity Committee is also supporting a CWC theater department reading of the play "8" at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 3, in the Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theatre. "8" is a new documentary play that tackles the marriage equality discussion and is being performed in every state and multiple countries in the next few weeks.

"8" is by Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk, and is based on the lawsuit filed by two same sex couples in California alleging Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage, as unconstitutional. There will be a discussion session after the performance.

Both events are free and open to the public.

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