deep thoughts

Why I’m Loving Dr. John Corvino’s Complete Annihilation Of Nearly Every Anti-Gay Argument, Ever

Dr. John Corvino, the self-professed “Gay Moralist” who edits book collections like Same Sex: Debating the Ethics, Science and Culture of Homosexuality, takes a, uh, different approach to arguing for same-sex tolerance. (And yes, the word tolerance is there on purpose, rather than acceptance, which doesn’t appear to be Corvino’s immediate goal.) By beginning his debate over gays with our opponents’ assumptions: that we’re a threat to the family, to the nation, to kids. And then he shoots them all down. Which is why Corvino’s speech tonight at the University of Alaska-Anchorage is titled “Is Homosexuality Immoral?” If you put that same question on, you’d immediately assume the question — a mostly rhetorical exercise — is posed with malice. With Corvino, it’s the opposite. It’s a topic that, while phrased negatively (i.e. it’s not “Why Homosexuality Isn’t Immoral”), gets us to where we need to be. As you’ll see from the above trailer for Corvino’s DVD What’s Morally Wrong With Homosexuality, it takes some mildly awkward conversation to arrive at sensible conclusions. With “heterosexual people we talk about relationships. Homosexual people, we talk about sex. Heterosexual people have lives. Homosexual people have lifestyles. Heterosexual people have a moral vision. Homosexual people have an agenda.” Brilliant. But cue to 3:52, for Corvino’s excellent take down of the Roman Catholic Church’s position on The Gays. Fall in love, yo.

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  • NelsonG

    Don’t love him too much. IMO, John Corvino has hurt his credibility by traveling around the country with Glenn Stanton and essentially giving Stanton a way to hurt his arguments.

  • LancerLaw

    Dr. Corvino teaches at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI… we had him in a debate last year at the law school I work at… very nice man and a very good speaker. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from him in the coming years… he is rapidly establishing himself as a leading academic on the subject of homosexuality and morality.

  • John

    I have met Dr. Corvino and heard his entire lecture on this subject in person. It’s brilliantly presented. Take a look, y’all. (And yes, I just said “y’all.” Screw you, I’m from Texas.)

  • justiceontherocks

    Pretty effective propaganda, and well delivered. Good for him.

  • Jason

    That is not argumentation. It is standup.

  • Ken S

    Mmmm, mother always wanted me to marry a doctor! ;)

  • WillBFair

    Perfectly organized, point by point, with every emphasis nicely understated. The guy is a technician, and we need more like him.

  • EdWoody

    He’s certainly not saying anything I didn’t already know, but I guess I’m not the intended audience, and he expresses the points well.

  • F

    @Jason: @Jason: Fair enough. Let’s hear yours.

  • greenmanTN

    @Jason: It’s effective argument, using some humor to leaven the seriousness and connect with the audience; you actually have to listen and think to get the jokes. Ranting and polemics don’t work.

    Somehow I’ve missed this guy so far, but I like him a lot.

  • Mark


  • Fitz

    Anyone who uses the tittle “Dr.” outside of a medical setting is a douche. I don’t know if he is a PhD or a MD, but this isn’t a medical setting, there is no need to rely on that.

  • Yuki


    So a lot of college professors are douches? Gotcha. Stay classy.

    I saw a clip of this guy’s on YouTube a while back. He’s brilliant.

  • Steve

    @Fitz wrote, “Anyone who uses the tittle ‘Dr.’ outside of a medical setting is a douche.”

    Nonsense. The title “Doctor” denotes a person who has the right to teach at university. John Corvino has well earned the right to use his title. I am sure his doctoral degree is in philosophy. Philosophy is the oldest of the doctoral degrees. The first Ph.D. degrees were awarded at University de Paris in the 13th century.

    The medical people only started claiming the title of “Doctor” a little over one hundred years ago.

  • Tommy Marx

    I have to say, after watching this I’m buying the DVD. He’s cute, funny, and intelligent, but more importantly, I want to support anyone that tries to inject common sense into a debate that often lacks it.

  • Fitz

    Thanks for the lesson guys. Actually, I am (painfully) aware of how a doctorate gets awarded. My point is that in our world “Doctor” means something very specific, and I think it is pretentious to use that tittle outside of a situation where it is needed and communicative. Arguably, a university campus may be an exception. But when you hear people say “I’m Dr. Jones” for no reason, they look grandiose. And.. well.. doucehy.

  • Jonathan

    @Jason – Isn’t there a cute little TEA party rally full of people who hate you that you can attend? You’re a complete douche.

  • thematics

    Corvino rocks! We can all learn a thing or two from him about how to best represent and talk about our causes/issues. The right wing conservatives have taken control of the language on ‘lifestyle,’ ‘special rights’ ‘agenda’ and ‘gay marriage’ so we need to push back.

    @Fitz: In an academic, clinical or professional environment, I am happy to call someone “Dr.” if s/he is teaching or treating me, but in a social situation my skin crawls when people introduce themselves that way.

    Similarly, if I’m going to use Dr. with someone else, they ought to return the gesture and call me Mr plus my last name. ….Unless it for sex … Where they should call me Sir! (okay, am kidding about that last bit).

  • Steve


    That you were unable to earn your own doctorate degree, does not make it right for you to denigrate others who have.

    By presenting his work in this debate, Dr. Corvino clearly is teaching. His willingness to teach without compensation should be applauded, not criticized.

    The word “Doctor” does have very specific meaning. It means, someone who has the right to teach at university. When such a person speaks, you should respect their opinion. Such people are usually very well informed, and their opinions are very well considered.

  • Steve


    The title of “Mr.”, or “Mister”, is a variation of “Master”. It also has specific meaning. If you hold a “Masters” license from a trade union, or are a the Master of a vessel, or are a military officer, or (more recently) hold a “Masters” degree from university, then you are entitled to be addressed by that title.

    It has become customary to address almost all men as Mister. But you really should not demand the salutation unless you have actually earned it.


  • thematics

    @Steve: Thank you for the etymology lesson. You, kind Sir, are correct on the origins of the word, but seem less schooled lack in savoir-vivre, etiquette or manners. (So do I, apparently, because I’m the arse who felt obliged to point that out!).

    I don’t introduce myself as Mister, Doctor, or Professor on a social basis. In a professional setting I wlll use titles for other people as appropriate, and use my own if it’s is customary for that arena. Since I got my degrees at a younger age than many of my peers, I occasionally overshot the whole title thing, but now that I’m a little older all that matters is that when I show up somewhere for work, people know why I’m there! And that I be paid….

  • hf2hvit

    @John: SCREW ME?!?!? I didn’t know there were any tops in Texas!!!!!!!!!

  • redball

    @Fitz: I’m in the final years of my doctorate and, from what I can tell, it’s perfectly legitimate to use “Dr.” in front of your name if you have earned pretty much ANY doctoral degree (not just an MD).

    I say “pretty much” because the one exception is JD. I’ve never heard JDs call themselves “Dr.” and I haven’t heard a good explanation for that!

    MDs are free to call themselves MDs, physicians, or medical doctors. Ambiguity resolved.

  • Glenn

    All this talk of proper use of titles reminds me of a user at an ISP I did tech support for demanded I refer to him as DOCTOR (name), as ‘sir’ wasn’t good enough. I just rolled my eyes and fixed his (Internet) issue and avoided any further direct reference to him.

  • F

    @Jason: Fair enough. Let’s hear yours.

  • JM

    What a nice smile! Strong arguments, yet pleasant to listen to. Plus, he comes with a brain and a PhD! Whoever he ends up with is one lucky guy.

  • Ugh, no

    I would advise anyone on here who is interested in understanding the truth of the Bible to look somewhere else because this guy ain’t providing it. The passages listing homosexual acts as a sin are in more than just Leviticus and, in context, clearly state that homosexual acts are sins. Now, when he refers to the “Bible” saying slavery is OK that is misleading. What he is referring to is the Mosaic law, documented in the Bible, which allowed some form of “slavery” (although not the cruel and unsual form practiced in this country many years ago). But Christians were never subject to the Mosaic law that Israel was formely subject to. Thus, we are not cherry picking which “sins” to abhor and whichs sins not to, at least good Chrisitians are not. Homosexuality is no different than any other sin, and all Christians have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. But we have forgiveness and salvation, just as do you, in Jesus Christ. Be informed. Love.

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