UPDATE: There will be an event to protest the cancellation of Corvino. It will take place on Thursday at 6:30PM at the Aquinas Lounge at Providence University. Read more about it on Facebook.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWO Condemns Providence College For Rescinding Speaking Invitation for Marriage Equality Proponent
Dr. John Corvino Is Silenced By Administrators Who Can’t Defend Their Irrational, Discriminatory Positions On LGBT Issues
Truth Wins Out condemned Providence College today for withdrawing an invitation for Wayne State University philosophy professor John Corvino to discuss marriage equality. The abrupt and impolite cancellation was announced by the college’s provost, Hugh F. Lena, on Saturday depriving the students of the very type of open debate that leading universities are supposed to foster, says Truth Wins Out.
Ironically, the decision came one day after Pope Francis lectured intolerant members of the Roman Catholic Church not to become bogged down and obsessed with social issues. Even with the Pope’s rebuke still fresh, Lena hid behind a document produced in 2004, “Catholics in Political Life” to justify putting the kibosh on Corvino’s lecture. New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein cited faculty President Fred K. Drogula, who claimed it was wrong to cower behind the document because it applied primarily to politicians.
“This is a disgraceful decision that flies in the face of the Pope’s admonition to not obsess on social issues,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “While Provost Lena uses faith to justify his poor choice, it is actually a lack of faith in defending an indefensible viewpoint that is really behind this unwise decision. Furthermore, it is patronizing to suggest that the students of Providence College are so naïve, that they can’t handle a discussion on an issue that was recently litigated before the United States Supreme Court.”
The resulting brouhaha has upset college staff that are dedicated to scholastic integrity. Professor Drogula said in the New York Times article, “The job of any quality academic institution is to teach students how to think critically, which includes challenging, testing, and defending our ideas.”
“Clearly, the bureaucrats at Providence College failed their exam on academic freedom and prefer to shelter students from the real world,” said TWO Associate Director Evan Hurst. “We hope that Lena will strongly reconsider his unwise decision and reverse course before he severely damages the reputation of his institution.”
Dr. John Corvino is the author of “What’s Wrong With Homosexuality?” and has already lectured at more than 10 Catholic universities. He has also debated anti-gay activists at Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage on the topic.
Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.