Catholic college reschedules lecture by gay professor who studies marriage equality

Professor John Corvino, author of What's Wrong with Homosexuality, will speak at Providence College next spring

Catholic college reschedules lecture by gay professor who studies marriage equality
26 September 2013 Print This Article

Providence College announced Professor John Corvino, author of What’s Wrong with Homosexuality, will speak at the Catholic institution in the upcoming spring.

Earlier this week the school canceled a lecture, called The Meaning of (Gay) Marriage, the Wayne State University philosophy department chairman was to present on 26 September.

‘The administration’s decision to cancel the event had nothing to do with Dr. Corvino,’ Provost Hugh Lena
said in a statement to his school’s faculty, staff and students

‘We were concerned, rather, that the event had strayed from what had originally been proposed – a presentation of philosophical and legal arguments in support of same-sex marriage by Dr. Corvino opposite a presentation of opposing arguments by a similar person of national repute,’ Lena continued.

Lena added the talk should have been postponed and reformatted. In the changed arrangement Corvino will share a stage with Sherif Girgis, a PhD student in philosophy at Princeton University and a JD candidate at Yale Law School.

When the visit was first called off, the provost argued it went against the Rhode Island’s school protocol.

‘College policy therefore dictates that both sides of a controversial issue are to be presented fairly and equally when discussed in a forum such as this.  That was not the case with this proposed event,’ Lena wrote in an email sent to Providence faculty (reproduced on Corvino’s website).

In addition, the administrator highlighted a ruling by US bishops that ‘Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.’

In an email correspondence with Gay Star News, Corvino pointed out the arrangement for his visit has changed multiple times.

‘I was originally invited for a lecture,’ Corvino wrote. ‘Then I agreed to having a respondent. Now we’re doing a formal debate. I’ve done plenty of debates and I’m happy to do one here, but it should be clear that this isn’t a "rescheduling," it’s a new event.’

NOTE: Corvino’s weekly column, The Gay Moralist,  appeared on the closed website 365Gay.com. The author of this article also wrote for 365.

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