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Dan Savage Challenges NOM's Brian Brown to Come to His Home for Dinner Party Debate on Bible, Marriage


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."

Concludes Savage:

"Are we on? Ball's in your court."


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  1. Wow - snotty, snarky, devious, derogatory, bullying language, grabbing the 'home field advantage' to psychologically put his opponent in a weaker position -

    Dan would make an excellent Republican.

    Posted by: Cassandra | May 22, 2012 1:03:29 PM

  2. This ain't gonna happen. NOM has nothing to gain and everything to lose by accepting this challenge and they know it. They threw their little hissy fit about the poor christian kids being bullied by Dan Savage (now there's a switch) but there is no way they'll let Brian Brown get in the ring with Dan. Brian would get eaten alive by common sense.

    Posted by: jamesintoronto | May 22, 2012 1:07:54 PM

  3. Oh yes, Cassandra. DAN is snarky, devious, derogatory, bullying one. How could I have missed that?

    Posted by: Jeff Kurtti | May 22, 2012 1:11:44 PM

  4. "Cassandra" is clearly Brian Brown's drag persona.

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | May 22, 2012 1:18:02 PM

  5. @CASSANDRA's comment reeks of paid commentator. Dan's invite is wonderful. He's inviting NOM into the home of a gay family. He wins whether Brian accepts or not. Way to be classy Dan.

    Posted by: Markus Taylor | May 22, 2012 1:20:02 PM

  6. Brilliant.

    Posted by: Anon | May 22, 2012 1:24:42 PM

  7. Brown is a liar and a coward, of course he'll go back on his word and fail to attend the debate. Mark my words.

    Posted by: Johnson | May 22, 2012 1:32:17 PM

  8. Christianity, but especially Fundamentalist Christianity, is so senseless that Brian Brown would do well to stay home and posture.

    Of course in the belief that he is one of God's elect, a soldier of Christ, he may show up to "defend the faith." If he does the party will turn into a fight because all the religionists ultimately have is fists and weapons. Reason will be on Dan's side and he will win easily, especially if he can authoritatively counter-quote the Babble that Brown will attempt to rely upon. For his own part, however, it's painful to say that Dan may lose points by lapsing into the off-putting vulgarity of a man known to be raunchy which will feed directly into the hopeless corner position of the fundies, that he is posessed by the Devil.

    So, ya, it's gonna be a fight. The video should be live streaming. I don't want to miss this one.

    Posted by: UFFDA | May 22, 2012 1:41:13 PM

  9. I am so over Dan!

    Posted by: jason | May 22, 2012 1:48:14 PM

  10. Cassandra: Brown said WHEN and WHERE?
    How can you rip on Savage for this?

    I think it's fantastic. Of course Brown will weasel out of it with some fabricated BS.

    Posted by: JimmyD | May 22, 2012 1:50:11 PM

  11. So JASON... when were you under him?

    Posted by: JimmyD | May 22, 2012 1:50:47 PM

  12. It's all about publicity, folks . . . Savage is turning this "debate" into a reality TV show.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | May 22, 2012 1:53:49 PM

  13. Can we talk about how awesome the girl is in the foreground on the left?

    Posted by: Cinesnatch | May 22, 2012 1:55:00 PM

  14. The difference between Dan and Brian is that Brian only wants to preach to his own choir while Dan wants to change minds.

    Posted by: Jacques | May 22, 2012 1:55:47 PM

  15. Cassandra - The challenge was Brown's aso Dan has the right to pick the place.

    Posted by: J. Leo | May 22, 2012 1:56:17 PM

  16. For a menu might I suggest a prawn cocktail starter, and roast pork for the main course? Or would this violate their religious creed?

    Posted by: Alan | May 22, 2012 1:57:00 PM

  17. BB will of course say no. But I would like to be there listening to it, if it happened.

    Posted by: Matt26 | May 22, 2012 1:58:21 PM

  18. he should take my husband, Rev. Dr. Robert E. Shore-Goss) along he wrote jesus acted up, queering Christ and is editor of the queer bible commentary. he is the number one queer theologian int his country. he would have no problem shooting this guy down and di8spelling his myths and lies.

    Posted by: Rev. Joseph Shore-Goss | May 22, 2012 2:01:07 PM

  19. I honestly think this is precisely what is needed more than anything -- not just at the top, very public levels like this, but even within our own towns. I have a good deal of social anxiety, so it takes a real push for me to get out to "mix and mingle" in my rural southern town, but I have found that when I do so, just be myself and get to know people and them to know me as a fellow human whose "lifestyle" is barely distinguishable from their own except in trifling details, hearts and minds do change. So, I'm consciously working on overcoming my hesitancy and meeting more of my neighbors.

    I largely disagree with Cassandra -- I do think this is a very classy move. However, gotta admit I did find the last paragraph there about food preparation snarkily worded and think it tends to undercut the overall positive, constructive tone.

    Posted by: Shelly | May 22, 2012 2:08:17 PM

  20. @Stuffed Animal: Yes, it's all about publicity. So what? You really think our community would be helped by having Brown lose a debate IN SECRET? You really think our community's issues should never get publicity, i.e. public notice? What exactly would that gain us?

    Posted by: jomicur | May 22, 2012 2:14:14 PM

  21. Is it possible for me to love Dan Savage even more?

    Posted by: Zlick | May 22, 2012 2:44:18 PM

  22. A small semantic point: Dan is not challenging Brown, he is ACCEPTING Brown's challenge. Now the onus is on Mr Brian Brown to show up as promised.

    Posted by: Rick | May 22, 2012 2:52:46 PM

  23. I love Dan's intelligence and most of his messages, but then he throws in something stupid. Insulting the kids who were leaving the room was wrong. Noting that "no homosexuals will have their fingers in your food before it gets to you..." is childish, not hospitable. Stick to your arguments, because you have the power of truth and fairness on your side. Skip the snark.

    Posted by: Bill | May 22, 2012 3:13:41 PM

  24. BULLLLLLLLLLLLLSHIT! For all the good Savage does, this—like his calling for mercy for Tyler Clementi's tormentor—is another example of the dead half of his brain. I don't give a flying F who's offended by this analogy, but imagine Elie Wiesel inviting Hitler and Eva Braun to dinner? GROW THE F UP!!!!! There's NOTHING you can say or do to make this PROFESSIONAL hate monger change. All you're doing is making HIM look more "humane" to people who should be shunning him out of business!

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | May 22, 2012 3:16:44 PM

  25. Brilliant! I wish I was Dan's publicist.
    Win win!

    Posted by: Oliver | May 22, 2012 3:39:15 PM

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