What’s Wrong with Homosexuality?
John Corvino. Oxford Univ., $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-19-985631-2
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 [is that] 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. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/14/2013