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Professor John Corvino to present anniversary talk of ‘What’s Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?’

By |2007-07-12T09:00:00-04:00July 12th, 2007|News|

By BTL Staff

John Corvino doesn’t look like someone who’s been speaking on college campuses for 15 years. “I started when I was 12,” jokes Corvino, who is actually a youthful 38. But listen to him speak or debate, and his accumulated wisdom becomes immediately clear.
Now, Corvino is realizing his dream of producing a professional video of “What’s Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?” a lecture he first developed in 1992. On July 26 at Wayne State University, Corvino will present his talk before a live audience. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be recorded, and the footage will be edited, professionally produced and distributed.
Corvino was a graduate student at the University of Texas when he first presented what has since become a popular talk. “It was Pride Awareness Week, and they asked me to do something for it. I was a Ph.D. student in philosophy, focusing on ethics, so I decided to do a lecture responding to moral arguments on homosexuality,” he explains.
That presentation led to further invitations, and eventually to a career traveling the country, speaking and debating on homosexuality.
“I still get invitations for the original lecture, at least a dozen times a year,” says Corvino, who has presented the talk in more than 100 venues around America. “It’s exhausting, but also very gratifying.” Corvino is noted for combining philosophical rigor with a liberal dose of humor.
Various campuses have taped Corvino’s lectures over the years, but usually either the picture quality or sound quality (or both) have been mediocre. “There’s an eight-minute clip of me on YouTube that gets a lot of attention,” Corvino says. “People write me all the time and ask me for the full version, but I no longer have it.”
Recognizing the usefulness of a marketable video of the talk, a local attorney came forth and offered to finance the production.
“So often, kids come up to me after my talks and say, ‘I’d love for my parents to hear this. Where can I get a DVD?’ This is going to be a way to spread the message of acceptance to a much wider audience,” Corvino adds. He is especially glad to be doing the video at Wayne State, where he teaches philosophy and recently was approved for promotion to associate professor with tenure.
“What’s Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?” functions as a kind of Gay 101, addressing various myths about gays and lesbians while confronting common moral arguments – including those based on nature, harm and religion. It generally runs for an hour, followed by Q-and-A. It has not yet been decided whether the Q-and-A will be part of the completed video, but audience members can “opt out” of appearing on camera asking questions if they so choose.
Corvino claims that he is not nervous about the production. “It’s a huge room – it holds 750 – so I’m hoping we get a big audience. The good thing is that, with multiple cameras and editing capabilities, it will be easy to fix any lines that I flub.” There’s really only one thing, aside from filling the room, that Corvino reports being worried about: “This will be my first time doing a talk in full makeup. I hope my mascara doesn’t run.”

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.