Profile of John in Between the Lines

Baker BTL cover 01

Between the Lines, the Michigan LGBT paper where John got his start as a columnist in 2002, just published a nice profile of him reflecting back on his 25 years of advocacy. From the profile:

“For someone so young, John has been at it for a long time – making a patient, compelling, persuasive, clear case for the morality and common sense of gay and transgender inclusion, equality, and freedom,” said Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry.

“John’s hallmarks are putting rational arguments in emotional and easy-to-follow terms, mixing in effective metaphors and analogies as well as humor. He is always fair, almost to a fault, in stating the positions and assuming the good faith of opponents. And with regard to those opponents, he has shown a preternatural patience in engaging with some doozies for a very long time, representing us and doing us proud on the front lines of intellectual debate and persuasion.”

Read the full article here.

John on the Kentucky Print Shop Case


At Slate, John explains why a recent case involving a Kentucky shop that refused to print an LGBT Pride t-shirt was rightly decided. From the piece:

[T]he legal boundaries that produce such implications are the very same ones that protect the baker who declines to write “Homosexuality is a detestable sin”; the print shop owner who declines to make “White Pride” T-shirts; the billboard designer who declines to erect an “Abortion is murder” display, and so on. Free speech includes the freedom to express wrong and even morally repugnant beliefs; it also includes the freedom for the rest of us not to assist with such expression.

Read the full piece here.

On President Trump’s Religious Liberty Executive Order

John Minchillo/AP Photo

John Minchillo/AP Photo

At the Detroit Free Press, John explains why the President’s recent Executive Order on religious liberty was a big nothingburger. From the piece:

Here’s why all of this is good news: Religious conservatives have lately been using the mantle of “religious liberty” to advocate for special rights for themselves: legal exemptions that would allow them to discriminate against LGBT people, unwed mothers, and other vulnerable citizens with impunity. . . . Many feared that Thursday’s order would repeat this mistake. Thankfully, it didn’t. In fact, aside from providing a nice photo-op, it didn’t do much of anything.

Read the full article here.

John receives “Community Hero Award”

On Sunday March 18, John received the inaugural Community Hero Award from the Board of Directors at Affirmations, Metro Detroit’s LGBTQ+ Community Center. The award recognizes “inspirational leadership, advancing acceptance, equality, and inclusion.” It was presented to recognize his 25 years of advocacy since the debut of his “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?” lecture in April of 1992. At the awards banquet, the following compilation video was shown:

John used his acceptance speech to thank the many mentors, colleagues, friends, and family members who made his work possible–especially his husband, Mark.


An Anniversary Year!

This year marks the 25-year anniversary of John’s lecture “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?”, first delivered at the University of Texas at Austin on April 15, 1992, and since honed before hundreds of audiences around the country (and the world–most recently in Belgium).

It’s also the 10-year anniversary of the DVD version–which is now John’s most watched video on YouTube.

Here’s a clip from the lecture’s premiere, a quarter century ago:

Kirkland Productions is marking the 25-year anniversary by offering a 25% discount for any new 2017 bookings made between now and May 1. This applies to all of John’s programs, including his new talk “Conversation Stoppers in the Culture Wars” and his debates on religious liberty and discrimination, the topic of his forthcoming book.

While the specific issues have changed, the fundamental challenges remain–and John continues to address them with logic, sensitivity, and humor.

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