I am very pleased to announce that I am going to be a Dole Fellow at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas this semester. I going to be leading a once-a-week afternoon study group entitled, “All Politics is Personal: 
A Gay Conservative Looks at the Culture Wars.”

The program is not for academic credit and it’s free and open to anyone to attend. I’ll have a special guest joining the group most weeks. We’ll announce who they’ll be once I get them confirmed.

Below is the description and the schedule. –

All Politics is Personal:
A Gay Conservative Looks at the Culture Wars

All politics is personal, but not all political issues are equal. Some issues, and the political dynamics around them, deal with who we are and how we live. These cultural issues are more personal and emotional than other issues in the public square. This study group will take a look at a few of the most contentious cultural issues of our time, and how the evolution of societal standards and norms can divide us politically.

Week 1, February 18: Homocon: A Gay Conservative’s View From the Trenches of the Culture Wars – Dole Fellow Jimmy LaSalvia introduces this semester’s study group topic and shares his experience as an openly gay conservative who advocates on behalf of gay & lesbian Americans.

Week 2, February 25: The War on Women: Fact or Fiction – Issues ranging from abortion and contraception to equal pay have been framed in the context of a political “war on women.” Well look at the facts and the rhetoric, and the reality of the politics of gender.

Week 3, March 4: Religious Liberty vs. Equal Treatment Under Law – From wedding cakes to the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, we’ll look at the legal and political realities regarding our constitutional rights of Freedom of Religion and Equal Protection.

Week 4, March 11: Gay in America Today – Public opinion on the specific issue of same-sex marriage, and homosexuality in general, has moved farther and faster than any other cultural issue in modern times. What happened and how did it happen so fast?

Week 5, March 25: The Glass Ceiling: Breaking Through Cultural Barriers – We have an African American president, will a woman be next? What’s it like be the first person like you to achieve a prominent, high-profile position? Why is it important?

Week 6, April 1: The Cable News Blowtorch – How does cable news fan the flames of the culture war and increase the cultural divide? What harm are they doing in their pursuit of ratings?

Week 7, April 8: Politically Homeless – A record number of Americans now choose not to affiliate with a political party, and more and more are choosing political parties other than the two major parties. Are wedge-issue politics driving voters away from partisan politics?