This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Andrew Sullivan to Speak
At UW-Eau Claire Feb. 3
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: Jan. 20, 2000

EAU CLAIRE — Andrew Sullivan will speak at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Thursday, Feb. 3. The Forum will present his lecture, titled "The Politics of Homosexuality," at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.
In his Forum presentation Sullivan will describe and assess the four major public approaches to homosexuality in our culture — prohibitionist, liberationist, conservative and liberal. In their place he calls for a new politics of public equality and private disagreement.
The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception.
Andrew Sullivan is the former editor-in-chief of The New Republic magazine. Now a senior editor at the magazine, he is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and the U.S. columnist for The Sunday Times of London.
In his writings and speeches, Sullivan confronts some of society's most controversial issues — most notably gay rights and same-sex marriage. A practicing Catholic, he also challenges the Church's position on gay life.
Sullivan's landmark book, "Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality" (1995), is considered the definitive book on the subject of gay rights and has been translated into four languages. In 1997, Sullivan edited a companion volume, "Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con, A Reader." His most recent book, "Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex and Survival" — about the transformational effect of AIDS on American culture — was published in 1998.
On the Jan. 9 edition of C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," Sullivan was asked why he'd written his books.
"I wrote 'Virtually Normal' because I felt that no really good argument had been made for homosexual equality," Sullivan said. "It was too hidebound with the arguments of the old left and that the very simple facts about who gay people are and why we deserve the same rights — no more and no less than anybody else — had not yet been properly, adequately put out there.
"And I wrote 'Love Undetectable' because I went through the experience of becoming HIV positive and surviving it — and getting, through the new drug regimens, a new lease on life," Sullivan said. "And I also went through watching many, many people whom I knew and loved die, and I wanted to do something with that experience. And I wrote about survival and friendship, the meaning of friendship and the dignity of homosexuality in that book."
Sullivan was born in South Godstone, Great Britain, in 1963. In 1981 he earned an open scholarship to Oxford University and was elected the youngest-ever president of the Oxford Debating Union. He graduated with honors in modern history and modern languages in 1984. He came to the United States on a Harkness Fellowship (the British equivalent of a Rhodes Scholarship) to attend Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. There he earned a master's degree in public administration in 1986 and a Ph.D. in political science in 1990.
While he was a student at Harvard, Sullivan worked as a summer intern at The New Republic magazine. He returned as a full-time associate editor in 1987, and in 1991 he began five controversial years as the youngest editor-in-chief in the magazine's history.
"With his Thatcherite faith in the free market, he seemed, to many old-time New Republic readers, unfaithful to the liberal traditions of the venerable magazine," wrote The New York Times. "But conservatives were never convinced that he was truly one of them — especially as he brought into its pages a number of passionate essays arguing that the gay liberation movement marks one of the great moral advances of our time."
Sullivan's tenure was distinguished for his concentration on sociological topics such as race relations, popular culture and homosexuality. He stirred controversy with his widely influential critique of the Clinton health-care plan; the first publication of Charles Murray's "The Bell Curve"; pioneering coverage of gay rights, the Supreme Court and affirmative action; and his acclaimed reporting on the Bosnian conflict.
Sullivan received National Magazine Awards for Reporting, General Excellence and Public Interest in both 1992 and 1995. In 1996 he was named Editor of the Year by Adweek.
Since the publication of "Virtually Normal," the politically conservative Sullivan has become a prominent and controversial advocate of homosexual equality, appearing on TV news talk shows such as ABC's "Nightline," CBS's "Face the Nation," CNN's "Crossfire" and NBC's "Meet the Press." He also has made numerous public radio appearances on shows including "Fresh Air" and "Talk of the Nation."
Admission is $7 for the public; $5 for those age 62 and over and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff; or $3 for those age 17 and under and UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center in Davies Center and will be sold at the door.
Patrons also may charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727 — or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free (800) 949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.
The Forum is made possible by student funds allocated by the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Jan. 20, 2000