In his Savage Love podcast released today, Dan Savage tells NOM's Brian Brown that he has thought for a while about the debate Brown challenged him to in early May, inspired by Savage's now well-known lecture to teen journalists about the Bible during which several Christian students were seen walking out.
Said Brown earlier this month:
Let me lay down a public challenge to Dan Savage right here and now: You want to savage the Bible? Christian morality? Traditional marriage? Pope Benedict? I'm here, you name the time and the place and let's see what a big man you are in a debate with someone who can talk back. It's easy to make high-school girls cry by picking on them. Let's pick on someone our own size!
I'm here, any time, any place you name, Dan Savage. You will find out out how venal and ridiculous your views of these things are if you dare to accept a challenge.
Savage tells Brown that he's inviting him to a dinner debate at his own home:
"Where? My dining room table. Place? Seattle, Washington. Here's the deal. We [could] fill a room with your screaming partisans and my screaming partisans and we can both fill a room with our respective peanut galleries and I think both of us have a little bit of grandstander in souls and we will work that and I think that will create more heat than light. And so what I'd like to do is challenge you to come to my house for dinner. Bring the wife. My husband will be there. and I will hire a video crew and we will videotape sort of an after dinner debate."
The venue, Savage explains, is part of a situation in which both are forced to be humane to one another.
"And the trick here is you have to knowledge my humanity by accepting my hospitality and I have to acknowledge yours by extending my hospitality to you."
Savage goes on to tell Brown that to ensure the debate is fair, Mark Oppenheimer, a journalist who has written profiles of both Savage and NOM's Maggie Gallagher has agreed to moderate it. Savage also tells Brown that his straight stay-at-home dad neighbor has agreed to cook the meal.
"He's offered to cook the meal so that no homosexuals will have their fingers in your food before it gets to you, and we'll serve it family style so that nobody can adulterate something that's served just to you. I want you to be welcome. We will be nice. John will cook."
Savage tells Brown that they'll film a bit of the dinner and then turn the cameras on for an hour-long debate. Brown will be able to approve the tape that goes to the public to ensure that it hasn't been edited and there is "no trickery."
"Are we on? Ball's in your court."