Bridge Magazine Profiles John

John in Bridge

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.

Jen’s Fund

Jen loveseat

 

UPDATE 3/13/2014: Jen has been home from the hospital for six weeks and is healing well. The second bone graft to her jaw was successful, and her legs are healing nicely too. She has finally had her IV line removed, and last week she was even able to get on an elliptical machine. She is still undergoing physical therapy and is home from work, but looks forward to returning soon. Again, THANK YOU for all the support.

PRIOR UPDATE 1/16/2014: I regret to report that Jen’s bone graft has failed, due to a problem with how the artery was attached.  After consultation with various doctors, it appears as if the best option is to re-do the procedure, this time taking the fibula from her other leg and using what doctors have learned since the Jan. 3 surgery to increase the likelihood of a better outcome. Jennifer has been moved back to ICU and her surgery is scheduled for Monday. An additional specialist is being brought on to the case.

Jennifer is concerned about the fact that she will need to extend her medical leave from work and will also need additional care during recovery. (She had learned to walk pretty well with crutches, but while BOTH legs are healing, it’s going to be more complicated. She’s also going to require IV antibiotics for the next six weeks.) I’m re-opening her fund today, with the amendment that any new funds collected may be used for income loss, child care, home nursing care, and other non-medical expenses arising from the surgeries.

Needless to say, we are all feeling rather emotionally drained (Jennifer especially!), but we are deeply moved by the kind expressions of concern and support throughout this ordeal. Thank you.

PRIOR UPDATE 1/6/2014: We have reached our $20,000 goal. Thank you so much for your generosity and good wishes. Jen’s surgery (vascularized fibula graft) took place on January 3; today her doctor told her that she could move from the Intermediate Care Unit to a regular room, and also start getting out of bed. She’s dealing with some pain but making good progress.

 

Dear Friends,

I am writing to ask a favor on behalf of my beloved sister, Jennifer. (That’s us above, circa 1980 and today.)

In 1999, my sister was the victim of a horrible act of violence. Late one night as she was entering her car, she was approached by an unknown assailant. As she quickly rolled up her window, he pulled a gun and shot her at close range. The bullet pierced her neck and shattered her jaw, coming within millimeters of her spine, her windpipe, and her carotid arteries. Amazingly, she managed to step on the gas and drive for a few blocks before collapsing. A stranger found her and called an ambulance, which rushed her to the hospital where doctors saved her life. Her assailant was never caught.

Over the next several months Jennifer underwent a series of reconstructive surgeries. The lack of an exit wound meant that she was spared major facial disfigurement; unfortunately, it also meant that the fragmented bullet would remain in her for years. Her jaw was wired shut for two months, and she lost all of her lower front teeth. Needless to say, the various physical challenges she has endured have served as a constant reminder of the emotional trauma of being shot.

Since the shooting, Jennifer has had over a dozen surgeries to stabilize her jaw, including bone grafts from both hips as well as multiple cadaver grafts. The doctors have done amazing work, but the early reconstructive surgery has gradually deteriorated. Last February, they were finally able to remove the largest bullet fragment, which was causing ongoing problems.

Here is why I am writing to you:

In order to achieve a stable long-term solution, the doctors will soon remove part of Jennifer’s fibula (the smaller calf bone) and do a vascularized graft to re-build her jaw. The surgery will be performed by three surgeons and take approximately five hours; it will require at least a three-day hospital stay. Later, the doctors will be able to provide her with permanent teeth implants.

Unfortunately, Jennifer’s Crime Victims fund is nearly depleted, and she faces roughly $20,000 in expenses not covered by insurance. (Part of the problem is that some of the procedures, including the restoration of her teeth and the reshaping of her chin, are deemed “cosmetic”; she also has a rather stingy insurance plan.) I am therefore reaching out to my friends and their networks to ask for support. Would you consider giving $25, $100, or whatever you are able, to help Jennifer get through her remaining surgeries and put this ordeal behind her? Every little bit would help. I’d also appreciate it if you’d share this message with your networks.

(Any funds collected will go toward relieving medical expenses; if there are somehow excess funds, they will be donated to the Crime Victims organization that has supported her over the years.)

Jennifer is my only sibling. We have always been close. Her strength in the face of adversity is inspiring, and I want to do anything I can to relieve her burden. Thanks for your consideration.

Warm regards,

John Corvino

Please click below to donate:


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John at NYT “Room for Debate” on Gay/Trans Connection

 

At the New York Times “Room for Debate,” John argues that gay rights and transgender rights are related but distinct:

Each group has distinctive needs and challenges. By jumbling them all together into one alphabet soup — L.G.B.T.Q.I.T.S.L.F.A.A., anyone? — we run the risk of covering or erasing people’s experiences, especially those who are already most marginalized.

Read the full article here. And check out this video, which explains some of the distinctions:

 

John in The Philosophers’ Magazine

TPM

In a recent issue of The Philosophers’ Magazine, John dismantles the “Definitional Objection” to same-sex marriage offered by Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, among others. From the article:

How did we end up in such a spot? Part of the problem is that ‘comprehensive union’ is a rather vague and slippery notion: suitable for greeting-card poetry, perhaps, but not the sort of thing on which to build a marriage theory.

Read the full piece here.

Response to Providence College’s “Rescheduling” of My Event

Yesterday evening I was informed that Providence College had “rescheduled” my event there—this time in the form of a debate with Sherif Girgis. The announcement was made in a statement from the provost.

The events of the last several days have been dizzying, and I would like to clear up the record on several matters.

First, on academic freedom, a concept that is easily distorted: I believe that a Catholic college—indeed, any college—has the right to choose speakers who comport with its mission. Obviously, academic freedom does not mean that I may speak wherever I want: I have to be invited.

I was invited to Providence College. On February 16 of this year Professor Christopher Arroyo, with the support of multiple departments, invited me to give a lecture on same-sex marriage, and we set a date for September 26. Last Saturday Provost Hugh Lena abruptly cancelled the lecture. So the concern here is not my academic freedom, but that of the nine Providence College department or program heads who were suddenly overruled by the provost, on the basis of a policy that he has since admitted is written nowhere. Moreover, Provost Lena decided that one of his own faculty members, Professor Dana Dillon, was unsuitable as a respondent for me. As Professor Fred Drogula, President of the Faculty Senate, pointedly asks, “Is the Administration henceforth to rule on whether and when each of us is prepared to speak in our areas of expertise?” (Drogula’s letter, which has been posted to Facebook, is worth reading in full.)

Second, notwithstanding the current spin from the Providence College administration, my event is not being rescheduled. It is being replaced with a different event.

In February I agreed that I would come to Providence to give a lecture, which would be followed by a Q&A period. Although Professor Arroyo and I had previously (last Fall) discussed the possibility of a debate, that idea was dropped for budgetary reasons. Then, just last week, I agreed to change the format so that I would have a lecture with an official respondent. Now, finally, I am being invited for a debate. These are three different kinds of academic events, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. I have plenty of experience with all three, and (as I’ve long said) I’d be happy to do a debate at Providence College. What I’m not happy to do is to aid the administration in the pretense that “the September 26 event was merely being postponed, not cancelled, until we could be sure that it went forward in the format in which it was originally proposed,” as Provost Lena’s statement said yesterday.

While it is possible that what was proposed to me and what was proposed to the administration were entirely different events, Professor Arroyo assures me that this is not the case.

Last, but certainly not least, there is the personal side to all this.

In his “rescheduling” statement yesterday, Provost Lena (quite rightly) apologizes to Professor Arroyo and Professor Dillon. As for me, he simply says that the decision to cancel “had nothing to do with Dr. Corvino.” But of course, I am the person whose visit he abruptly canceled, in an e-mail sent on Saturday to faculty. In two decades of public speaking, at over 200 college campuses, I have never felt quite so bounced around.

Yesterday a friend asked me how I was doing, and I responded that the media attention was exhausting. “Yes,” he pressed, “But how are you doing? You were uninvited to speak. That seems hurtful, even if not intentionally personal.”

The truth is that it’s difficult not to feel as if the Providence College administration regards me as a sort of virus, which might infect students if not blocked by some administration-approved surgical mask. This feeling is sadly familiar, to me and to any gay person. It is the malaise of the closet, the notion that some features of oneself are unspeakable. I am the Other. And if I feel that way, I can only imagine how young gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender Providence College students must feel. It is for them that I remain most concerned.

That’s where “damage control” should be focused right now: the personal harm to LGBT Providence College students, not to mention faculty, staff, and alumni. Pope Francis has called for a “new balance” in the Church’s pastoral ministry, and there is an opportunity—yet unrealized—to implement that balance here.

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