Can People With Dementia Have a Sex Life?

Jeff Heinz/The Globe Gazette

Jeff Heinz/The Globe Gazette

Let’s ask John Corvino! (Ahem.) At The New York Times’ “Room for Debate,” I team up with my buddy Ron Belgau to defend, among other things, the sanctity of marriage. From the exchange:

[T]he argument in the present case is not that Mr. Rayhons physically or emotionally harmed his wife, but rather that he violated her consent merely by having sex. I don’t see how that argument wouldn’t apply equally to his brushing her hair — which would indeed be wrong, and a violation of consent, if he did it to some random dementia patient who was not his wife. The marriage matters, as do other intentions the patient expressed prior to her dementia.

Read the full exchange here.

The Church, Natural Law, and Gay Sex

Tim Hussin for the NYT

Tim Hussin for the NYT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prof. Gary Gutting of Notre Dame gives me a shout-out at the Stone in The New York Times:

The problem is that, rightly developed, natural-law thinking seems to support rather than reject the morality of homosexual behavior. Consider this line of thought from John Corvino, a philosopher at Wayne State University: “A gay relationship, like a straight relationship, can be a significant avenue of meaning, growth, and fulfillment. It can realize a variety of genuine human goods; it can bear good fruit. . . . [For both straight and gay couples,] sex is a powerful and unique way of building, celebrating, and replenishing intimacy.”

Read his full article here.

Just My Opinion?

fact opinion

The Philosopher’s Magazine has finally posted my piece on the fact/opinion distinction.

Why worry about the fact/opinion distinction? One reason is that precise thinking is valuable for its own sake. But there’s another, more pragmatic reason. Despite its unclear meaning, the claim “That’s just your opinion” has a clear use: It is a conversation-stopper. It’s a way of diminishing a claim, reducing it to a mere matter of taste which lies beyond dispute.

Read the full article here.

John, the “Antidote to Screaminess”

Photo Credit: Doug Coombe

Photo Credit: Doug Coombe

There’s a nice profile of John at the Urban Innovation Exchange:

John Corvino is a refreshing antidote to the screaminess on one of the central issues of our times – marriage equality. It befits his work as a philosophy professor at Wayne State University; as such, he needs to think deeply about the very nature of morality and why we behave the way we do. It also befits his life; he’s an out gay man who has been with his partner, Mark, for 13 years.

Read the full profile here.

Against Obsessive Celibacy

Celibacy

John replies to Michael Hannon’s startling response to “Thinking Straight” at Commonweal:

You don’t have to be a “libertine” to recognize that what the young boy is experiencing is not just a really, really, really strong desire for friendship. More important, you don’t have to be a libertine to acknowledge that willful blindness to what the boy is actually experiencing can do serious, lasting damage.

Read full article here.

“Thinking Straight?” at Commonweal

QueerTheory

At Commonweal, John explains how a little queer theory (misunderstood and misapplied) can be a dangerous thing:

What social conservatives want is nothing less than to dismantle the very vocabulary by which we express and realize our inchoate longings for intimacy. They want to push us back to a time when homosexuality was not merely the “love that dare not speak its name,” but the love that could not speak it. They want to restore a regime where the boy with the funny feeling might—if he’s lucky—grow up to have a good-enough heterosexual marriage, but he might just as easily grow up to have a lonely life of furtive, dangerous same-sex encounters.

Read the full article here. Also check out Hannon’s reply and John’s rejoinder.

Bridge Magazine Profiles John

John New Student Convo

Bridge Magazine just posted a nice profile of John’s work.

Corvino is emerging as a new public face of gay America, well-suited for an era of increasing acceptance by the dominant culture – calm, polite, respectful, telegenic. In an era when cable television and the Internet reward snark and sarcasm, he meets the opposition on their own turf and engages in argument without insult.

Read the full story here.

John’s Book “Finnished”!

John’s book What’s Wrong with Homosexuality? has been translated into Finnish by LIKE Publishing. The title is Mitä väärää on homoseksuaalisuudessa? Say that three times fast (or even once, slowly)!

The English-language edition is now also available in audio format.Finnish

John on Polygamy in NYT “Room for Debate”

Corvino meme

In a New York Times “Room for Debate” discussion on plural marriage, John rebuts the slippery slope:

Polygamy raises a number of public-policy concerns that same-sex marriage does not. That said, the gay-rights movement has bolstered the polygamist-rights movement in one key way: by insisting that finding a practice weird or icky or religiously anathema is not sufficient reason to make it illegal.

Read his full post, and watch the accompanying video, here.

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