Much as I don't like him I did watch, and his point about the digestive organs is spot on. I highly doubt his brand of softly softly pandering and engaging with bigots actually does any good, though. He went so far as to co-author a book with Maggie Gallagher and look at her latest anti-gay efforts: if anything what she's doing now is even worse.
James: Thanks for your comment. You seem to think that my goal in debating Maggie was to convince Maggie. Much as I'd love to convince Maggie, that wasn't the goal: rather, it was to force her to lay out her arguments in print and defend them, while making the best possible pro-equality case. The goal was to convince the moveable middle. And thankfully, the middle is clearly moving, much to Maggie's frustration and disappointment.
I think it was great. I don't think what Corvino's doing is pandering at all. It's educating. It's employing logic and reason, and encouraging critical thinking.
I particularly liked the ending, wherein he makes his pro-morals stance. I may assign this for a writing class when we talk about argument.
This is a concatenation of his excellent series of YouTube videos reworked for the stage. Thanks for doing what you do, John.
By engaging in debates with bigots like Maggie Gallagher you confer legitimacy on them--as if there's actually something in their arguments that's worthy of real debate. By co-authoring books with them you allow them to continue to earn money from the bigotry they perpetuate. Why don't we see blacks and Jews co-authoring books with racists and anti-semites? Because it not only does it do nothing to stop racism and anti-semitism, not only does it confer legitimacy on them, not only does it make them money, but it helps to maintain the truly damaging fiction that expressing those opinions in polite society is acceptable, and that the proper response is to engage the person expressing them in a friendly debate. No, no, and no. The time is long past for that type of approach.
James6, John is not responsible for the popularity of the bigots' arguments, nor for the legitimacy conferred on them by the force of their popularity. There are simply too many people who still hold bigoted opinions about gay people to effectively marginalize these views by ignoring them, as we do with many other strains of bigotry. Someday we might be able to marginalize them in a similar way, but we're not there yet, and John's work is advancing us toward that day, not holding us back.
I didn't say John was responsible for the popularity of their arguments. What I said was that engaging in the types of activities he does with people like Maggie Gallagher confers legitimacy on them. The way to combat those arguments is not by giving them a veneer of acceptability and veracity by co-authoring books with their proponents and by engaging them in friendly public debates, and it's certainly not by referring to them as your "friends."
Maggie Gallagher, NOM, AFA, et. al. gain their legitimacy from their popularity, which is considerable. As painful as it is to acknowlege, anti-gay bigotry is "legitimate" in a way that racism and anti-semitism are no longer. I have no patience to engage with bigots, but I'm glad John does, because I'm keenly aware that my own shrill proclamations are impotent to change the hearts or minds of people who just haven't thought about it enough.
7, Maybe an ax fight would be more to your liking?…
James is absolutely correct. Corvino may think he is simply exposing bigoted thought to the cleansing sunlight, but he is just providing an income for a bigot. These bigots are not our friends and to call one a friend is to have no moral or ethical standards for what constitutes a friend.
He really does great work.
There was a time when it was necessary to engage with the bigots. Hell, there was a time--not that long ago--that the bigotry was Standard and Approved. There will be a time when homophobia is as reviled and ridiculous as racism is now [of course that could still get better too].

We are currently somewhere between those two poles. With any luck the work Corvino is doing, and has done, will be totally uncalled for in the near future because he is/has been doing it.

Thank you for your work, Mr. Corvino. I look forward to the day that you're out of this job.
I think anybody who is gay, knows someone who is gay or is suffering by being rejected because they are gay should listen to and share this. Most of it is stuff we've all heard, but it is a great message and it needs to be out there more.
@7, 10:

I think anyone who took his calling Gallagher a friend seriously is unfamiliar with sarcasm, or at least the grand American tradition of people with diametrically opposed ideologies getting along socially. At this point everyone agrees that the single greatest weapon against homophobia is knowing a gay person, so engaging with bigots can't be dismissed as mere pandering (as there's a difference between engaging with and submitting to). Sorry, but this pseudo-purist whining reminds me of the Pink Bloc "outlaws" who think gay marriage will ruin gayness for all gaykind by forced asssimilation. Those of us on planet Earth call it progress.
Mr Rhone - I'm not entirely convinced; engagement past the point of diminishing or even vanishing returns becomes pandering, doesn't it? But this gives me an opportunity for some charming Austensplaining:

'"Consider Mr Collins' respectability, and Charlotte's prudent, steady character. Remember that she is one of a large family; that as to fortune, it is a most eligible match; and be ready to believe, for everybody's sake, that she may feel something like regard and esteem for our cousin."

"To oblige you, I would try to believe almost anything, but no one else could be benefited by such a belief as this; for were I persuaded that Charlotte had any regard for him, I should only think worse of her understanding than I now do of her heart."'

As for any drivel about "friends" I am prepared to offer a conditional pass. Mr Corvino may, in the true Rumpolean fashion, be adding silently the adjective "learned" before uttering the word "friend" in a way that makes it quite plain he regards Ms G much as Rumpole regards Soapy Sam Ballard or Mr Injustice Gravestone.
Mr. Ven @15: I would say engagement past the point of diminishing or even vanishing returns would be useless, not necessarily pandering. And I would argue Corvino's approach can hardly be considered useless here- the "movable middle" is demonstrably the source of the queer-positive wave of legislation in not just America and England but in many Western nations. And it is to that middle that Corvino explicitly speaks.
Didn't Corvino himself say @2 that his real target was the moveable middle? And if Gallagher's name is a hook to engage part of the moveable middle, so that he has the opportunity to draw them closer to his own side, then couldn't one say he is using her as bait?
Messr Venn:

I do so love your Austensplaining posts. They brighten my day.

Kind regards,
Mr Rhone - I was not necessarily criticizing Mr C or claiming that his engagement with Ms Gallagher provides more of a net loss than a net gain. You just seemed to be presenting engaging with bigots as a universal good with no downside.

Some forms of bigotry, much less dangerous than Ms G's, meet the standard of a much shorter piece of Austensplaining: "Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition." I'd like to subdivide the remainder if possible into forms of bigotry that deserve rational opposition for the sake of the bigot, who is sufficiently without ill intent to be open to persuasion through effective opposition, and forms of bigotry that do not deserve rational opposition but require it due to the seriousness of the threat contained (for me, Ms G's category, and it appears to be the same for you as well).

Do you see no risk of losing some of the movable middle through engagement that goes a step or two over the line? I've seen some of that sort of thing - not enough to suggest that the engagement is a net loss, but it's troubling to see engagement presented uncritically as a universal benefit. Mistaking a net gain for a no-lose proposition can lead to serious errors.
M? Clash - Much appreciated.
Mr. Ven @19: I definitely do not think that engagement with bigots is a universal good with no downside- the troll situation on Slog would be untenable if that were so. I was simply advocating Corvino's approach.
The difference between racism and anti-Semitism, versus "homophobia", is that the belief in homosexuality as a sinful lifestyle is based text that is undeniably a part of Christian scripture. Part of being a Christian is believing that the entire Bible is inspired, and infallible. The LGBT community would like Christians to just ignore that part of the Bible, but what they don't understand is that to throw out that one part is tantamount to throwing out the whole thing. Isn't the intolerance of an entire religion, one that the majority of people in this country observe, just as bad if not worse than the perceived "bigotry" that we supposedly have towards you? I am a Christian, and I believe that homosexuality is a sin. Does that mean that I'm homophobic? No. I'm not afraid of homosexuals. Does that mean that I hate gay people? No. I have many gay friends who I like very much, and I've always treated any gay person with the same level of kindness I show anyone else. Does disagreeing with someone mean that you hate them? No. I also believe that it's a sin to lie, and gossip, but basically everyone I know, including myself, is guilty of those things practically every day. Everyone has sin that they struggle with, and I don't hate anyone for their struggles. I realize that calling homosexuality a struggle probably incites anger and resentment from a lot of you reading this, and I understand that that's not how you see it. However, if you can't accept that a lot of people feel this way and that it's not out of hatred, or bigotry, but out of religious conviction; then you’re clearly as guilty of religious discrimination, as you believe we are of bigotry. Now I will admit that not all Christians see things the same way I do, and I’m sure that many gays who may be reading this have most likely experienced rejection and hatred that I’ll never know, but I can only speak for myself, and ideally a true Christian should view anyone they see struggling with sin with compassion. They should pray for them and love them. But that does not mean that they should condone the sin, or pretend that they think it’s right for the sake of political correctness. The fact is that I’ve never said or posted anything anti-homosexual or anti gay marriage in any other tone than what I’ve posted here, but I’ve had people from the LGBT community that I don’t even know seek me out on facebook and send me hateful private messages telling me how much of a bigot I am, and how much they hate me for it, the irony seems lost on them, and they don’t actually take to heart anything I say, they just see that I disagree with them, and they label me bigot. Again the irony is lost on these people, and they don’t seem to understand that they are fighting perceived hate, with actual hate. One person actually sent my wife a message saying that she is married to an idiot bigot, who is probably a closeted homosexual himself. I don’t agree with your cause, but speaking objectively, if you want to further said cause, they way to do it is not by bashing anyone who disagrees with you. By doing this you’re no better than the people you’re bashing.

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