John Corvino known as “The Gay Moralist” was invited by the Rainbow Alliance club to give a lecture last night in the university’s Campus Center Ballroom A on the morality of homosexuality titled “Born or Made and What’s the Difference?”
Issues raised included how the gay community is often scrutinized and misunderstood by society, claiming the notion that homosexuals choose to lead a gay lifestyle.
“Scientific debate about homosexuality tells us something about other ways the world is, but we need moral inquiry to tell how the world should be,” Corvino said.
Corvino started off his presentation by showing a clip of a gay talk show in which a politician was invited as a guest along with Melissa Etheridge.
Etheridge then asked the politician if he thought homosexuality was a choice or if they were born pre-wired.
“I think that a relevant question to ask a politician is what are they going to do politically not how they feel the origin (homosexuality) came from,” Corvino said.
“It’s not whether we choose or not but how we integrate into society.”
Corvino talked about the scientific studies conducted in the 1990s that suggested there was a homosexual gene.
In one study scientists suggested that a gay man’s brain was closer in size to a woman’s than other men.
Another study found that if you have gay family members on your mother’s side, you were born with a larger chance of being homosexual.
Several studies were done interpreting a male’s immediate verbal response to pictures by measuring the blood flow in a male’s penis in reaction to the pictures.
The blood flow was then compared to how they identify their sexual orientation.
“I think this (scientific studies) is an overly simple way to view sexual orientation,” Corvino said.
However, Corvino did not dismiss scientific research to find reasoning behind homosexuality.
He does not think that science is going to help political and societal issues.
“Nobody is blaming them (gays) for having homosexual feelings,” Corvino said.
“People are blaming them for acting upon any gay feelings.
The subject of gay marriage and religion were touched upon in the question and answer portion of the lecture.
Corvino explained how he and his partner are not allowed to legally marry in the state of Michigan where they reside, but at one point they signed legal documents that bound them together.
He spoke about signing those documents and knowing it committed him to one person.
He described the occasion as a feeling like no other and he could not imagine how it must feel to get married.
“People’s religious convictions are important to them and I respect that,” Corvino said.
“It’s a personal issue for the other side too, but what the debate is really about is how we as a society treat each other.”
Corvino explained how he encourages those who do not agree with homosexuality to speak up and voice their opinions because each side needs to understand each other.
“It’s a shame Corvino will not be able to pass on his charisma and passion to a child. I don’t agree with John’s lifestyle but I don’t think any less of him as a person,” audience member Ron Arciniega said.
Corvino emphasized that the biological issue of being gay or being straight is irrelevant.
He says the primary issue is that homosexuality exists and society needs to accept it and bring equality to all.
Informing others of this message is the primary reason Corvino was invited to lecture on the subject and he attracted a large diverse crowd.
“I’m shocked a lot of people who showed up were adults and professors, not just students,” senior child development major Bryan McGrail said.
“We’re trying to educate people on campus that it’s okay to be LGBT and it’s not immoral,” Rainbow Alliance vice president Stephen Cundiff said.
Rebecca Bravo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.