Dan Savage Debates NOM's Brian Brown at Dinner: THE VIDEO


Here it is.


The video begins with two 10-minute opening statements. Savage discusses the speech he gave which prompted a walkout by some Christian students, points in the Bible and the discredited Mark Regnerus study, as well as NOM's promotion of points made by Regnerus, and how damaging they are.

Brown spends his opening statement arguing against Savage's opening statement, decries the labeling of NOM and other groups as hate groups.

Brown: "I don't accept that someone having a differing opinion, a different analysis of science, what you just laid out about Mark Regnerus, that somehow because his science doesn't agree with the argument that you've put forward, that the APA has put forward, that somehow there's a right to demonize or attack him. I think it's wrong and I think if we want to have a debate let's do it civilly...let's do it based on facts not innuendo."

Savage then discusses the Family Research Council's 'hate group' label and why it is such.

Savage: "If we hear about the abomination that is a man lying with a man, we never hear about the hundred plus other things that are labeled abominations in the old testament and why not? Why this selective cherry picking just to attack gay people to justify anti-gay bigotry. And i'm sorry there's no other word for it. I don't think principled opposition to same-sex marriage is necesarily bigotry. THAT is bigotry. What the FRC has put out there is unquestionable bigotry, which is why they were labeled a hate group, not by 'gayland', not by me, but by the Southern Poverty Law Center."

The conversation then moves on to the definition of marriage. Savage asks why his family can't be recognized with a civil marriage, and then Brown starts getting hot under the collar (screencap below) and starts getting very angry about being labeled a bigot.

BROWN: Gay marriage cannot exist. There cannot be a marriage of two men or two women. Just because the state says it's so - this is not based upon reality. You can call a cat a dog in the law but a cat does not become a dog. Marriage is by its definition - it is intrinsically something. It is not simply about your desires. It is not about my desires.

SAVAGE: Marriage is a package of civil rights and legal responsibilities, no longer an engendered institution.

BROWN: What about three people or four?

SAVAGE: The merits of polygamy - you know, if you want to ban polygamy, most polygamous marriages have been heterosexual. So if you're worried about the slippery slope, it's heterosexual marriage that puts us on the slippery slope towards polygamy.



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  1. I'm afraid to watch. Is this going to be a painful, circuitous conversation, in which everyone regurgitates the same arguments and no one gives an inch? If so, I'd rather skip it.

    If something moving, profound or enlightening actually happens here though, page me.

    Posted by: rustytrawler | Aug 22, 2012 11:53:40 AM

  2. Rusty i was thinking the same thing...an HOUR with Brian Brown ? Wow Dan Savage is one tough Mo !!

    Posted by: paul | Aug 22, 2012 12:01:49 PM

  3. It's Brian Brown, nothing moving, profound or enlightening could've happened.

    Posted by: Syrax | Aug 22, 2012 12:02:53 PM

  4. Can someone give me the break down of who came off better? I'm at work and can't listen.

    Posted by: Brandon H | Aug 22, 2012 12:07:44 PM

  5. I really am looking forward to watching this.

    Posted by: Jason | Aug 22, 2012 12:07:55 PM

  6. Not in a situation where I can play a video and definitely not an hour long one. Is there any way just to get a synopsis?

    Posted by: Butch | Aug 22, 2012 12:08:23 PM

  7. I will wait for the summary

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 22, 2012 12:15:35 PM

  8. Is there a transcript of this somewhere, for those of us that simply can't stand watching/listening to BB's smirking bloviation?

    Posted by: jexer | Aug 22, 2012 12:17:55 PM

  9. Ahhh!!!!! So excited- AND scared to watch- hope Dan decimates him .....Altho, I have to say, I've been checking the Stranger and Savage Love and I haven't seen him mention it yet.... Hope that doesn't mean he's not happy with his performance.

    Posted by: Scott | Aug 22, 2012 12:26:55 PM

  10. I'd like to suggest that the point of a conversation is so that we don't reduce things to who wins and who loses. Listen to the whole thing and appreciate it for what it is.

    Posted by: Charles | Aug 22, 2012 12:31:28 PM

  11. For both Brown and Savage, it was all about the photo opportunity, folks.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Aug 22, 2012 12:32:09 PM

  12. If you are not even going to be knowledgeable about the arguments IN a debate, you should STFU and keep your opinion, based on your own willful ignorance, to yourself; because your opinion is based on NOTHING but your own bias.

    Posted by: "The Gay" | Aug 22, 2012 12:36:26 PM

  13. Stuffed--and?

    "The Gay"--to whom were you addressing your comment?

    Posted by: Daniel | Aug 22, 2012 12:41:24 PM

  14. Dan lost

    Posted by: Marlee | Aug 22, 2012 12:42:27 PM

  15. 12 minutes in, and I'm already a little disappointed. You can't 'win' debating the bible because there is always an exception to every rule/law which justifies their bigotry. Further, I know Dan is trying to be nice, but he's trying too hard. Ugh.

    Posted by: Geoff M | Aug 22, 2012 12:43:44 PM

  16. I can't stand listening to either of them. There is no way that minds were changed as a result of this.

    Posted by: David | Aug 22, 2012 12:44:38 PM

  17. What did they have for dinner and who cooked it?

    Posted by: Perry | Aug 22, 2012 12:48:06 PM

  18. "Because you believe something is wrong, doesn't mean you make it illegal." ~ Brian Brown @ 47:55

    Um buddy...you just destroyed your organization's whole raison d'etre.

    Posted by: Scott C. | Aug 22, 2012 12:49:16 PM

  19. There's no arguing with people who define "gays are more likely to be pedophiles" or "gays make bad parents" as "opinions."

    That's the long and short of it. They whine about us "redefining" marriage, when they've redefined the word "opinion" to mean 'a statement made with the intention of presenting itself as factual, when no data exists to substantiate such a claim.'

    NOM/FRC etc., try to gain sympathy by saying "we're being attacked for our beliefs." And people fall for it because CNN/FOX (obviously) lets them get away with it.

    Posted by: kpo5 | Aug 22, 2012 12:52:12 PM

  20. Brown comes off prepared, articulate and well prepared...Dan comes off defensive...he backtracks and clearly doesn't have a strong background in history....

    Posted by: Marlee | Aug 22, 2012 12:54:58 PM

  21. I'm not interested in watching a Brian Brown fundraising video.

    Posted by: jht | Aug 22, 2012 12:57:04 PM

  22. Marlee's an idiot with an agenda.

    Posted by: Marc C | Aug 22, 2012 12:57:30 PM

  23. Good for both of them. It's an important gesture for representatives of both sides of the issue. Unfortunately Savage has no credibility with me, and he's the guy speaking for me. When Signorele does this I will feel much better represented. It's not so much about changing minds though, as just specifying what each side believes. I hope it's the start of a more comprehensive dialogue.

    Posted by: stranded | Aug 22, 2012 12:57:41 PM

  24. Daniel: anyone that just dismisses the entire debate outright, without having even bothered to watch it.

    One can't claim to be aware of the facets of an issue when one has just ignored the other sides arguments.

    Maybe minds and hearts ARE NOT going to be changed. That's not the point. The point is WHY and WHAT the issue actually ARE, WHY the different sides hold their views, and WHAT their views are actually based ON.

    Just calling everyone that disagrees a bigot, without actually listening to why they hold their views, is a huge cop out, and it's NOT going to give us the tools we need to bring about change.

    Posted by: "The Gay" | Aug 22, 2012 12:58:10 PM

  25. The only good thing...maybe it finally shows Savage for the bullying, loud mouth he really is...we need a SCHOLAR to debate..not some queen with delusions of grandeur.

    Posted by: Marlee | Aug 22, 2012 12:58:43 PM

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