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For 25 years, Dr. John Corvino has been leading better conversations in the “culture wars” using his trademark combination of logical precision, sensitivity, and humor.
John first delivered the lecture “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?” in April 1992 — an incisive and witty response to common arguments against same-sex relationships. He has since spoken at over 250 campuses about sexuality, marriage, religion…and how it’s possible to build bridges across deep moral divides.
Today he draws on this rich experience to address contemporary challenges. His current programs include his must-see talk on “Conversation Stoppers in the Culture Wars” — in which he challenges people from all sides to rethink easy assumptions — and debates on religious liberty and discrimination — the topic of his forthcoming book.
If you’re looking for a speaker who combines serious academic credentials with accessibility, experience, warmth, and humor, look no further.
To mark the 25 year anniversary of John's "What's Morally Wrong...?" talk, Kirkland Productions is offering 25% off all of his programs for the remainder of 2017. Booking must be contracted by May 1.
John's recent short TEDx talk on "Conversation Stoppers.":
Note: These are select programs. John is always writing new material and is happy to customize programs for specific campuses’ needs. All programs include a substantial Q&A portion.
Conversation Stoppers in the Culture Wars
In John’s current "keynote" program, he reflects on 25 years in the culture wars by pointing out how rhetoric from all sides of the debate — both "conservative" and "liberal" — hinders rather than helps real dialogue. Using his unique blend of logic and humor, he shines light on “hot-button” topics, including "political correctness," religious privilege, the fact/opinion distinction, the analogy between LGBT identity and racial identity, and more. In the process, he invites everyone into a more nuanced and productive conversation about the issues that divide us — as well as the values that bind us together.
"On God’s Authority": Religious Liberty in a Marriage-Equality World
Now that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the U.S., conflicts are emerging among objectors who do not wish to facilitate same-sex weddings: clerks who do not wish to issue marriage licenses; bakers, florists, and caterers who do not wish to provide services for the receptions, and so on. Is it possible to oppose discrimination while also respecting religious liberty? In this talk, John draws on the research for his new book, Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination, to provide a thoughtful response.
"A Gay Man and an Evangelical Walk into a Bar: Frank Conversation in the Culture Wars": A Dialogue with John Corvino and Matthew Lee Andersonn
Longtime gay-rights advocate John Corvino and young evangelical author/blogger Matthew Lee Anderson disagree sharply about important questions concerning God, marriage, sex, and so on. Yet they agree that these issues deserve thoughtful, vigorous discussion, and that's exactly what they provide in this program. Less of a debate than a lively conversation between friends, this program explores deep questions by way of hot-button issues of the day — which vary with time and with venue — and includes a substantial Q&A. Together, Corvino and Anderson model how it’s possible to build friendships and actually learn from one another despite deep disagreements.
What Marriage (Equality) Means: Old Questions, New Challenges
Drawing on 25 years of experience as "The Gay Moralist," John reflects on the dramatic changes in the political and social landscape for LGBT people and addresses the new challenges arising. What does the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision say, and what are its implications? How should we treat people who continue to oppose same-sex marriage for religious reasons, given our commitment to equality and diversity? What does trans* equality have to do with gay, lesbian, and bisexual equality? How is LGBT justice similar to racial justice, and how is it different? Most important, how can we have a better conversation about these issues, on our campuses and elsewhere?
"What's Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?"
John's classic speech, which he's been presenting in various incarnations since 1992. Is homosexuality unnatural? Does it threaten society? Are gay people "born that way" — and does it matter? He responds by examining and dismantling some of the most common arguments against homosexual conduct — including those based on nature, harm, and religion. This program is well suited for diverse audiences, including conservative religious audiences.
"Values, Diversity, and the Workplace"
Most of us spend the majority of our adult waking hours in the workplace, where we interact with a diverse group of colleagues and clients not always of our choosing. Yet we often find it challenging to move beyond diversity buzzwords to a real appreciation of others’ identities and values. In this program, John explores various assumptions that we bring to the table, and he explains why it's important to understand and challenge those assumptions. While placing special emphasis on LGBT issues — which often get marginalized—he draws broader lessons about how to maintain core values in a diverse and ever-changing world.
"Coming Out Skeptical"
John Corvino, who was once a candidate for the Roman Catholic priesthood, now considers himself a non-believer, agnostic, or atheist — depending on how one defines the terms. In this talk, which was an audience favorite at Skepticon III, he presents the personal story of his (de)conversion, makes the case for non-belief, and draws analogies between coming out as a gay man and coming out as a religious skeptic.
From the 2007 DVD of John’s classic, “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?”:
Dr. John Corvino, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He has authored or co-authored several books, including Debating Same-Sex Marriage (with Maggie Gallagher), What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?, and most recently, the forthcoming Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination (with Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis) — all from Oxford University Press. In addition, he has written for The New York Times, the Detroit Free Press, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and numerous other popular and scholarly venues. An award-winning teacher, he has lectured at over 250 campuses, and his YouTube videos have over 1.3 million views.
20+ TIME NACA SHOWCASING ARTIST
RUNNER-UP: 2012 America's Best Campus Speakers – Campus Activities Magazine
Best Speaker Nominee 2011 – Campus Activities Magazine
Congratulations on being chosen as one of the Top 25 LGBT Favorites from Campus Pride
Congrats on being chosen as one of the “Hot Speakers of 2010” by Campus Activities Magazine