Gay rights and homosexuality were the topics of discussion Wednesday night at Northern Michigan University.

Author and public speaker Dr. John Corvino, Chair of the Philosophy Department at Wayne State University, spoke about the rhetoric of culture wars around gay rights and same sex marriage in his presentation ‘”Haters”, “Sinners” and the Rest of Us: The Gay Debate Today’.

He said sometimes it’s hard to have a productive conversation on the topic because there is a lot of labeling done to one another.

“Moral claims about these issues can be a conversation starter not a conversation stopper,” Corvino said.  “We become so scared about the moral debate because we’re so used to people shot down with these quick sound bytes and I think there’s an opportunity here for real dialog.”

Corvino even related some of the address to recent same-sex marriage ruling in the state, and how gay rights is a current topic that isn’t going away.

“We have seventeen other states across the county that recognize marriage for same sex couples, so this very much an issue that is on people’s minds, it’s going to be with us and it’s nice to have an opportunity at a university setting to have a more thoughtful dialog about it,” he said.

He was an equal opportunity critic during his presentation, talking on both sides of the debate and also took time to answer audience questions to continue an open dialog on gay rights.

For more information on Corvino’s books or his opinions on gay rights, click here.