Synopses & Reviews
For the last twenty years, John Corvino--widely known as the author of the weekly column "The Gay Moralist"--has traversed the country responding to moral and religious arguments against same-sex relationships. In this timely book, he shares that experience--addressing the standard objections to homosexuality and offering insight into the culture wars more generally.
Is homosexuality unnatural? Does the Bible condemn it? Are people born gay (and should it matter either way)? Corvino approaches such questions with precision, sensitivity, and good humor. In the process, he makes a fresh case for moral engagement, forcefully rejecting the idea that morality is a "private matter." This book appears at a time when same-sex marriage is being hotly debated across the U.S. Many people object to such marriage on the grounds that same-sex relationships are immoral, or at least, that they do not deserve the same social recognition as heterosexual relationships. Unfortunately, the traditional rhetoric of gay-rights advocates--which emphasizes privacy and tolerance--fails to meet this objection. Legally speaking, when it comes to marriage, "tolerance" might be enough, Corvino concedes, but socially speaking, marriage requires more. Marriage is more than just a relationship between two individuals, recognized by the state. It is also a relationship between those individuals and a larger community. The fight for same-sex marriage, ultimately, is a fight for full inclusion in the moral fabric. What is needed is a positive case for moral approval--which is what Corvino unabashedly offers here.
Corvino blends a philosopher's precision with a light touch that is full of humanity and wit. This volume captures the voice of one of the most rational participants in a national debate noted for generating more heat than light.
"Known as the 'Gay Moralist' for his weekly column and regular debates supporting same-sex relationships, Corvino, the philosophy chair at Wayne State University and a long-time gay rights advocate, brings his trademark thoughtfulness to the page in this slim and provocative volume (whose title, readers will quickly realize, is confrontational rather than condemning). Intertwining personal experience, in-depth research, and responses to and from other academics, he systematically approaches many of the moral and philosophical questions regarding homosexuality. In chapters with titles like 'A Risky Lifestyle' and 'Born This Way,' Corvino (Debating Same-Sex Marriage, coauthor) addresses mainstream objections to homosexuality and unpacks why so many antigay arguments fall short of the mark. Likewise, he examines traditional religious arguments, dismissing, among other things, the oft-cited examples of Sodom and Gomorrah and Old Testament prohibitions. His work is unfailingly patient and laced with humor, and it's clear he counts some of his most ideologically opposed debate partners like Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family as respected colleagues and friends. Corvino's 'hope this book invites an ongoing dialogue that is thoughtful, rigorous, sensitive, and productive'; he's successful on all counts, and the result is an essential and accessible read for any interested parties. Agent: Gina Kirkland, Kirkland Productions." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wayne State University. A frequent speaker on LGBT issues, he has presented his popular talk "What's Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?" and related programs at over 200 universities and other venues. John has also been a guest on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country" and on numerous other radio programs. An award-winning teacher, he is also the recipient of a 2004 Spirit of Detroit Award from the Detroit City Council for his work on behalf of LGBT rights.
Table of Contents
"We Shouldn't Even Be Having This Discussion"
"God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It"
"A Risky Lifestyle?"
"It's Not Natural"
"Born that Way?"
"Man on Man, Man on Dog, or Whatever the Case May Be"
"One Man, One Woman"
"Bigots and Deviants"