What’s Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?
John Corvino is not exactly a household name—at least not in our household.
I’d never heard of the guy until a friend in Detroit recently sent me a link on YouTube of Corvino giving a lecture before a live audience on What’s Morally Wrong With Homosexuality. The note accompanying the e-mail message said, “...this is 58 minutes long…but I hope you find time to enjoy it.”
I made time to view it. I did enjoy it. In fact, I enjoyed it enough to play it twice.
It turns out that John Corvino has a PhD in philosophy and is chair of the Department of Philosophy at Wayne State University. Corvino is openly gay—has written, debated, and lectured extensively on gay rights and has published What’s Wrong With Homosexuality and Debating Same-Sex Marriage (both from Oxford University Press). His work has also appeared in The Advocate, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic online, and The New York Times online. In addition to numerous teaching awards, he received the Spirit of Detroit Award from the Detroit City Council in 2004.
His YouTube lecture is a pure delight. If he weren’t a college prof, Corvino could easily make it on the comedy circuit. In his lecture, Corvino addresses the common arguments frequently hurled at gays and lesbians—The Bible condemns it; Gays and lesbians don’t procreate; homosexuality is harmful to society, and the source of plague, famine, and disease (the standard Pat Robertson line); and homosexuality is “unnatural.” These and other pertinent accusations are fully addressed with wit, intelligence, sensitivity, and without disparaging his opponents.
He points out, for instance, that the statement “homosexuality is unnatural” really doesn’t refer to nature, where there are many animal species documented with same-sex behaviors. Instead, what the speaker is really saying is that “homosexuality makes me uncomfortable. It’s unfamiliar to me and therefore weird. If it’s weird, it’s wrong.” To deal with that perception gays and lesbians, and straights as well, must “get outside their comfort zone.” That means educating our families, friends, and co-workers by example—by being honest about who we are.
Corvino has several other lectures/talks on YouTube that I’ve not had a chance to view as yet. But I hope many Letters readers will take the time to view What’s Morally Wrong With Homosexuality. It’s also available on CD which would be a great gift to friends, family members, and others who might be struggling with the moral issues attributed to homosexuality.