Dr. John Corvino to speak on GLBT issues on April 14
Penn State Hazleton will host a program from the Northeastern Pennsylvania Diversity Education Consortium (NEPDEC) on “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?” at 7 p.m., Thurs., April 14 in 115 Graham Building at the campus.
According to guest speaker Dr. John Corvino, he’s heard many arguments in the past 18 years while giving lectures on moral and civil rights issues raised by homosexuality.
In the lectures that earned him a nominee as best speaker this year from Campus Activities Magazine, television appearances on MSNBC and his weekly column, Corvino confronts beliefs that underpin discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals.
Penn State Hazleton will host his talk on behalf of NEPDEC, which seeks to make the region’s culture more inclusive and prepared for diverse communities and workplaces.
Corvino’s lecture is scheduled as the American military is in transition from the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy stricken by Congress and the nation is reacting to a spate of suicides among teenagers bullied because of their sexual orientation.
When addressing gay marriage, workplace conduct and homosexuality in the Bible, Corvino will apply the logical training that he gained while earning a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Texas and honed at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he is an award-winning teacher and winner of the 2004 Detroit Award from the city council.
The Bible in Leviticus calls homosexuality an abomination punishable by death, yet can believers and non-believers follow that law today? After all, Corvino points out, the Bible lists the same penalty for adultery and tolerates practices now discouraged such as polygamy and slavery.
Is homosexuality inborn or acquired? Research is inconclusive and should continue, Corvino said, but science doesn’t settle moral questions. How he became who he is matters less than how he is treated. Rather than judging people for whom they love, Corvino issues a challenge to judge people on whether they love.
Since starting his lectures at colleges nearly two decades ago, he has seen animosity toward gays dissipate among younger people. But he welcomes people with contrary viewpoints to his lectures and the question-and-answer sessions that follow. Rather than having people labeled perverts, sinners and lost causes by one side or bigots and haters by the other side, Corvino wants to have a productive conversation about homosexuality.
For more information on this event, which is free and open to the public, visit nepdec.org or contact Penn State Hazleton’s Public Information Office at 570-450-3180.