Is Homosexuality Immoral?
Editor’s note: We’re pleased to welcome Heather and John Aronno of the Alaska Commons as contributors to Bent Alaska. From the summer of 2009, when Heather and John regularly blogged about the Anchorage equal rights ordinance, to the present, they have been two of our best friends and allies in the Alaska LGBTA blogosphere. Please make them welcome!
Is Homosexuality Immoral?[/caption]
There’s a lecture title worthy of a few head turns. When I first saw the poster, I felt a little, nauseous pit form in my stomach. I thought, “is UAA actually bringing in an anti-gay speaker?” Fortunately, I paused long enough to read the description before I flew off the handle.
With a combination of humor, sensitivity, & intellectual rigor, Corvino examines the most common arguments against homosexual conduct.
Whatever your sexual orientation, moral perspective, or religious conviction, this program will invite you to rethink some of the “easy assumptions” that often characterize the debate over homosexuality.
A visit to the UAA Student Life & Leadership website provided a little more information: “Dr. John Corvino, a.k.a. “The Gay Moralist,” is a writer, speaker, and philosophy professor. For over 15 years he has been traveling the country speaking on gay rights. Combining philosophy, sensitivity, and humor he has challenged all sides of the debate about homosexuality and morality.”
During my first year at UAA, I was pleased to learn that many departments and student organizations coordinate a series of events every February called “Healthy Sexuality Week.” And being that Alaska now rates ninth in the country for its rates of gonorrhea, it’s probably a good idea to focus on healthy sexuality. As part of the events for every year that I’ve attended there has been a notable speaker, come to help make up for our lack of comprehensive sex education. For the past two years, columnist and personal hero Dan Savage has been our guest of honor. (Some of you may remember when the Anchorage Press carried Dan’s Savage Love column. Do you miss it? Send the Anchorage Press an email and let ‘em know.)
This year, Dan gets a break and Dr. John Corvino will be taking the stage. I asked a few UAA students for their opinions on the lecture and its subject matter:
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Neil Patrick Harris and his partner, David Burtka"][/caption]
“Homosexuality isn’t really immoral or a threat to marriage. Divorce is probably a bigger threat to marriage than homosexuality.” Eric – Business Management Major
“I have no problem with it. I have friends that are gay. I might potentially take part in [the lecture], depending on what they end up talking about. I don’t mind that kind of discussion. That actually sounds pretty interesting.” Mike - Psychology and German Major
“To me, it doesn’t matter because I see them just as another human being, who has a different opinion than my opinion. It doesn’t affect me at all.” Simon – Undergraduate
“I’m not really biased. It’s a good topic to get people talking about it, because most people are shy in this day and age. It’s not that they don’t have an opinion, they’re just scared to voice it. At least he’s opening up the question for discussion. If I don’t have class at the same time, I might attend.” George – Management Information Systems Major
“I don’t have a problem with homosexuality. I have family members who are [gay]. I have friends who are. It doesn’t bother me at all.” Tim – Electrical Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, and Mathematics Major
“He looks pretty cute. Too bad he’s gay.” Heidi – International Studies Major
Now, that’s just a small sample of UAA students who happened to be in the Student Union when I was asking questions. I didn’t have anyone who spoke against homosexuality that I chose not to include; all of the students I spoke to indicated they had no issue with people being gay. (Except for Heidi. Ah well, she’s not the only girl stuck pining after an attractive gay man. I’ve had a crush on Neal Patrick Harris for years.) But for every student who is comfortable talking about their gay friends, family members, selves, there are other students who may very well benefit from hearing a different perspective on the morality/immorality of homosexuality. I encourage them to attend.
I’m looking forward to Dr. Corvino’s lecture. I hope some of you will be able to join me.
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“Is Homosexuality Immoral?” with Dr. John Corvino
Presented by UAA Student Activities. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided for this lecture.
- Date & time: Thursday, February 17, 7:30-9:30 PM; doors open at 6:30 PM
- Location: UAA Wendy Williamson Auditorium
- Cost of admission: This event is free to everyone.
- Info: Dr. John Corvino, a.k.a. “The Gay Moralist,” is a writer, speaker, and philosophy professor. For over 15 years he has been traveling the country speaking on gay rights. Combining philosophy, sensitivity, and humor he has challenged all sides of the debate about homosexuality and morality. Dr. Corvino holds a Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wayne State. He has written over 100 articles and opinion pieces, wich have appeared in regional and nationally at the online Independent Gay Forum and in numerous academic journals and anthologies.
- Further information: UAA Student Activities, or this event’s Facebook page