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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NOM's Brian Brown Said I Could Name the Time and the Place

Posted by on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 9:05 AM

And he would debate me—anytime, anyplace—all I had to do was name, again, the time and the place. And I have. To find out when and where I'll be debating the head of NOM, listen to the top of this week's "Savage Lovecast."


Comments (64) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
What a great idea. So long as the exact date and time are kept under wraps, lest the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence park a parade float out front.
Posted by gloomy gus on May 22, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
NaFun 2
Stroke of brilliance.
Posted by NaFun on May 22, 2012 at 9:27 AM · Report this
despicable me 3
Please set a time limit on answers.

gloomy, Hoorah for the Sista's! Yeah, maybe not in this case but still...
Posted by despicable me on May 22, 2012 at 9:29 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 4
He is still going to pull out at the last second.

Bullies only act that way until someone stands up to them, and in actually naming a time and place, you have called his bluff. He will retreat to his church and talk about how you persecuted him, and how righteous he is to have resisted debating with a vile sinner.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on May 22, 2012 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Taken in the right direction, but a giant leap when a grandmother's step was probably best.
Posted by vennominon on May 22, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
Allyn 7
Wow. That is classy, Dan. Good for you. How is this invitation extended? Have you contacted him directly?
Posted by Allyn on May 22, 2012 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Well Hell. The IT nerds monitor bandwidth use here at work, and jump all over us when we stream anything. I can't find out what Dan said until I get home tonight.

Please, please someone tell me what the mysterious invitiation is.
Posted by SeattleKim on May 22, 2012 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Brown would have to be nutz to debate you. He will back out, that's 100 percent certain. It would be like Hitler screaming in the Hitlerbunker.
Posted by Lan on May 22, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
GlamB0t 10
Wow, that's such a great idea, I love it. Well played sir.
Posted by GlamB0t on May 22, 2012 at 9:53 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 11
What a coincidence. I'll be hiding in the bushes outside your house that night.
Posted by MacCrocodile on May 22, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Allyn 12
SeattleKim @8-
Dan's house, over family-style dinner prepared by a friendly neighbor. Spouses of all present. Filmed, unedited debate. He's invited to pre-screen the video before posting to verify that there are no unflattering edits.
Posted by Allyn on May 22, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 13
Maybe you should also ask them to bring their own food so they can't claim later that they've been poisoned.
Posted by MacCrocodile on May 22, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
And if he gets into the "it's OK to treat different things differently," remind him that it's also OK to treat equal things equally -- and human beings are equal.
Posted by mistereks on May 22, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
Thanks Allyn @12. Great idea. Can't wait to see the video.
Posted by SeattleKim on May 22, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
despicable me 16
SeattleKim, someone posted this on JMG. This is from the podcast.

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."
Posted by despicable me on May 22, 2012 at 10:13 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 17
Listened to the podcast on the way to work, and got really happy. I don't think you could have played this better, Dan. Take the high ground, and hold it.

I sincerely hope he takes you up on this.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on May 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM · Report this
BEG 18
I can't listen to the podcasts at all, so thank you Allyn@12 for summarizing. I bet the guy will be too much of a coward to set foot in Dan's home, though.
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on May 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM · Report this
@18, that would be such a shame. He and Terry live on one of the most beautiful streets in the whole city, if you ask me.
Posted by gloomy gus on May 22, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Didn't he specifically challenge Mr. Savage to a Bible-off? I would love for one of those to happen, though I hear those Protestants are very good at citing chapter and verse from memory.
Posted by DRF on May 22, 2012 at 10:19 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 21
Such a gentleman you are Mr Savage. Will Mr Brown be giving the prayer before the meal?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on May 22, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Lance Thrustwell 22
Woo hoo! Yeah! I'm so psyched for this. I trust a video will be available on the youtubes or on SLOG soon after?

BTW Dan - I know that you know your Bible pretty well already. But bone up beforehand - Brown's gonna try to bury you in a bunch of exegetical mumbo-jumbo and questionable textual history. Don't give him an inch on that crap or he'll start to acquire a veneer of expertise that a) he doesn't deserve, and b) is irrelevant anyway but will make you look bad.
Posted by Lance Thrustwell on May 22, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Ophian 23
I would love to watch the product of that. The only thing better than Brown getting the beat down would be Savage and Brown engaged in reasonable, moderated dialogue. I have no doubt that in that context the side of equality will prevail, but with a better "heat to light" ratio.
Posted by Ophian on May 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 24
@ 4, you know what you call that? A forfeit. In sports, it's a cheap way to win, but in politics it's often a more clear cut victory than any debate (unless someone gets in a "you're no Jack Kennedy" kind of zinger).

If he pulls out after agreeing to it*, I'll be just fine with that, and I think most everyone will, too.

* If he doesn't agree to it, he may find some excuse that would make it palatable to his side - maybe refusing to enter a notorious homasexshul pervert's abode is exactly the thing that would not make him look any less of a man to the bigots. You never know...
Posted by Matt from Denver on May 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on May 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
BEG 26
Ah, hadn't spotted the transcript @16... awesome. "Ball's in your court" (giggles). Not "Balls are in your court"? You sure? :D
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on May 22, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 27
Brilliant strategy. Simply brilliant. Or should that be simple and brilliant. No matter, as both apply.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on May 22, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Posted by ravished on May 22, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Just Jeff 30
@24, He's already agreed to it. That's what "name the time and place" means.
Posted by Just Jeff on May 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Fnarf 31
I'll bet he brings a plastic sheet for his chair. And his own silverware.
Posted by Fnarf on May 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 32
@ 30, no, he has to say "Alright, I'm going to be there" for him to "agree to it." That's what "agree to it" means.

As of now it's just a challenge he threw down, and can still decline to actually go through with it. As long as his side buys it, that's all that matters from his standpoint.
Posted by Matt from Denver on May 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Zebes 33
Much as I wanted to scream in a crowd alongside the other flying monkeys, this is a much better idea. Looking forward to the results.
Posted by Zebes on May 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Lissa 34
Oh Dan. You are a brilliant tactician. This whole thing makes me want to do a little dance of glee.
Posted by Lissa on May 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Serve pork and shellfish, and he'll bring up Leviticus with his mouth full.
Posted by Subdued Excitement on May 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
A class act, Dan. Really enjoyed your zen-like mastery of the situation.
Posted by skyweaver on May 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
kim in portland 37
Sounds lovely. Especially the home cooked meal. I love cooking and baking.
Posted by kim in portland on May 22, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
eastcoastreader 38
I've often thought that the real problem with these homophobic types is that LGBT people are an abstraction, not real people who live in houses and sit around a dining room table.

this is a beautiful pitch perfect response to the situation and I really hope he takes you up on it, but he might chicken out.
Posted by eastcoastreader on May 22, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
I agree with @36. Make sure you eat some form of pork, shellfish, or even better, blood pudding. Eating pork and shellfish are forbidden, but eating blood of any kind is considered a serious offense against God and is expressly forbidden in several places in the Torah. (Which is why I never bought Jesus using wine to represent his blood and asking his disciples to drink it. No self-respecting Jew would even think about drinking blood, even if it is represented by wine.)

And wouldn't it be great if his wife, or your neighbor's wife were menstruating at the time of the dinner?
Posted by SherBee on May 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
geoz 40
This is good. I like the feeling of it. I don't like the "gotcha" feeling from some comments. I'd rather you treat him with some respect unless directed otherwise. And if directed otherwise, then come down like a ton of bricks.
Posted by geoz on May 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
@40, exactly.

As Orphian said @ 23 "The only thing better than Brown getting the beat down would be Savage and Brown engaged in reasonable, moderated dialogue."

Looking at this like a battle, where if our side wins their side has to lose, doesn't get anyone anywhere. They need to stop looking at us as the enemy, for there to be real systemic change, and that comes from respect.
Posted by agony on May 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 42
@39 Beat me to it. If Dan really wants to pull out the 'holier than thou' tactic, he should make sure he & Terry aren't wearing any blends.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on May 22, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
June probably just won't work for Mr. Brown. June, being "Gay Pride Month" is a very busy time of year for Brian. So many festivals & parades to attend...just to observe & protest of course.

Even if Brian chose the exact time, date, venue, moderator & established every single ground rule...I strongly suspect that he would cancel.

Having said all of that, good for you, Dan. You've come up with an ideal plan, fair as well as gracious.
Posted by TampaDink on May 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
Nancy S 44
Brown's type are shape-shifters, masters at manipulating the bible to fit their version of reality. Regardless of the truth you speak, Dan, he will probably refuse to see it ... instead preferring his own interpretation. He will have to find a way to imagine he's victorious, because, you know, he speaks for God, blah blah blah. Do you really think he'll play fair?
Posted by Nancy S on May 22, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Dan, this is a wonderful approach, but I don't think I could sit in Brian Brown's presence for a couple of hours without physically attacking him. He is such a slimeball. More power to you, sir, if you can manage it. But he probably won't accept, and will offer some feeble excuse. Or maybe he'll bring Maggie, and then you'll be outnumbered! (Can you afford to feed these folks?)
Posted by Dan Not Savage on May 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 46
Well played, indeed. He'll have a hard time spinning this polite invitation as weird or unfair. My only concern is that this is so nice and human that it won't attract much media attention when the big scrotum backs out, or rather, fails to accept. "Brian Brown still ignoring Dan Savage's dinner invitation" isn't exactly breaking news.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on May 22, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
nocutename 47
Great idea, played like a gentleman. Now watch your language. Don't hand him that weapon.
Posted by nocutename on May 22, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
I think @39 and @35 and some of the others have missed the point.

Class act as always, Dan. I hope he goes through with it.
Posted by random_lez on May 22, 2012 at 6:48 PM · Report this
Sir, you are a genius.
Posted by Ellid on May 22, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
If it happens, and I'm not holding my breath, it will be like the great debate between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Byran during the Scopes trail. Tickets sales to benefit GLBT organizations. Go Dan!!
Posted by alisamc on May 22, 2012 at 8:38 PM · Report this
Rebecca F. 51
#39 I hope that Dan Savage would have more class than to ask if his wife were menstrating, and that Brian Brown would have more class than to volunteer that kind of information. Also, I'm pretty sure the New Testament records that Jesus did get a pretty strong reaction from suggesting that people eat his flesh and drink his blood when he mentioned it publicly. (The Last Supper was with his close followers.) I don't remember the chapter off the top of my head.
Posted by Rebecca F. on May 22, 2012 at 10:36 PM · Report this
Rebecca F. 52
#39 I found the chapter. It's John 6.
Posted by Rebecca F. on May 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM · Report this
Ms Agony - They will never stop looking on us as the enemy. Mr Brown has withstood more irresistible versions of this challenge before and come through with his antagonism intact. Waiting for them not to hate us is just handing them indefinite veto power.

Besides, it doesn't matter. All will be washed away in the Big Red Sweep that is to come. The sensible plan is to have an exit prepared of one sort or another.
Posted by vennominon on May 22, 2012 at 10:46 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 54
Oh dear, how intriguing. There's elements of both "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" and "The Man who Came To Dinner", except for the fact that Brian Brown is just a dreary bore. I do hope he won't break a hip while at your place,,,,,
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on May 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM · Report this
MythicFox 55
Posted by MythicFox on May 23, 2012 at 12:41 AM · Report this
Very classy. I hope he agrees, but I think he wants a screaming colosseum.
Posted by scrappy_girlie on May 23, 2012 at 6:06 AM · Report this
I think he's gonna puss out. I think that the right can't debate anything without a screaming crowd of sycophants booing and cheering at the appropriate/inappropriate times. They can't participate in any debates that are not moderated by Greta Van Susteren or Megyn whatshernuts. There's a reason most of these clowns do not accept invitations on the Daily Show, and it has nothing to do with Jon Stewart's conduct. It has everything to do with actually having to engage in a real debate where they might have to defend their positions with reason.
Posted by MinnySota on May 23, 2012 at 7:37 AM · Report this
brilliant, bravo. very, um, christian of you, if you don't mind my saying so.
Posted by martarose on May 23, 2012 at 8:27 AM · Report this
This is genius and classy, Dan. Trust you to pull something creative and potentially productive out of the hat. It's brilliant.
Posted by alion on May 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 60
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on May 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM · Report this
What a great proposal Dan. Very classy. Very constructive. Thanks for taking the high road.
Posted by FredSlogger on May 23, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
This made me SO HAPPY!! What an elegant and beautiful idea!! That is the whole problem: each side dehumanizes the other to the point where there is no room of any other way. It's my way or no way. Instead of haranguing each other and beating each other about the head with the bible, you all have to be polite an civil and HUMANE. BRILLIANCE! Sheer brilliance! I am so proud of you Dan! I have always loved you, but now there is a happy little glow on that love! Way to go! I hope to hell that Brown guy follows through! Love and kisses!!
Posted by Mer-Mer on May 24, 2012 at 1:07 AM · Report this
Oh my God (get it?) this is exciting.

And let's be clear, everyone saying Brown is going to chicken out: he can't. He actually can't. This is going to happen.
Posted by Al Cracka on May 24, 2012 at 7:42 AM · Report this
What? And humanize a homo? Even in his own mind? Good god, you may as well have asked him to dive headlong into a pit filled with broken glass and vipers. Or speak naked in front of the league of Atheists or something.

When I heard you say that you wanted him to come and get to know you and Terry as human beings before the debate, I knew you were being devious, since you know full well that this kind of humanization - coming out to your parents is another fine example - leads to acceptance. That maybe the people he's made a career out of demonizing might not be so bad after all.
Posted by gromm on May 24, 2012 at 8:31 PM · Report this
oh hey, watching and old Daily Show and Zach Wahl has a thing about this already.
Posted by kate r on May 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM · Report this
Dan, this is such a clever and classy move! I'm not sure I could stand to have that man in my house eating with dinner where my husband and I eat with the children our "sanctioned by the state of Texas and a judge in an honest to goodness white cowboy hat and no god or church at all" union produced. I don't think he will accept - which is a shame because I know you'd trounce him. I thought I would have loved to see you debate him in front of a hand-picked audience - really put him in a hostile situation, but this is so much better! So gracious and unassailably polite and reasonable! I also love that the meal will be prepared by a SAHD.

(please guys, no anti Texas jokes. We live in funky liberal Austin where we are trying our best to combat the unfortunate reputation the rest of our state has completely earned.)
Posted by Haleya on May 28, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this

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