Gay Rights and the Race Analogy

At The New York Times, I urge caution on use of the race analogy and argue that the issues are more complex than they’re typically treated: The present debate is too often dominated by hasty generalizations and false inferences, on both sides. The left slides too easily from “similar” to “the same.” The right correctly… Continue reading Gay Rights and the Race Analogy

Can People With Dementia Have a Sex Life?

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… Continue reading Can People With Dementia Have a Sex Life?

Just My 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… Continue reading Just My Opinion?

Against Obsessive 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… Continue reading Against Obsessive Celibacy

“Thinking Straight?” at Commonweal

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… Continue reading “Thinking Straight?” at Commonweal

John on Polygamy in NYT “Room for Debate”

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… Continue reading John on Polygamy in NYT “Room for Debate”

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

John in The Philosophers’ Magazine

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… Continue reading John in The Philosophers’ Magazine

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.… Continue reading Response to Providence College’s “Rescheduling” of My Event

Categorized as Articles

A Papal Surprise: Humility

My first full-length op-ed at the New York Times. Here’s an excerpt: [When he says] “who am I to judge,” surely the pope is not relinquishing the church’s assertion of authority in matters of faith and morals. But he was adopting a tone of humility. And tone matters. Read the full piece here.