by Dan Savage
on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM
Brian Brown, the head of the National Organization for Marriage, publicly challenged me to a debate in the wake of Bullshitgate. Brown said he would debate me "anytime, anywhere." Brown expected, no doubt, that I would pack a hall with hooting, hollering supporters of marriage equality who would boo and shout him down. (Which was probably what he was after—it would've allowed Brown to play the victim and complain about hypocritical, intolerant liberals.) Instead I invited Brown and his wife to come to dinner at my house and meet my husband and son. No booing crowd, no grandstanding. Dinner. I would have to acknowledge Brown's humanity by extending my hospitality, he would have to acknowledge mine by accepting my hospitality. After dinner, Mark Oppenheimer, a NYT journalist, would moderate an dinner-table debate about marriage, about equality, about the bible, and about religion. Today Brian Brown accepted my invitation to dinner:
It looks like I'm gonna have to clear all the Catholic kitch out of our living room and dining room—my 5' plaster Jesus, our 3' plaster Mary, all my other plaster saints, the dozens of rosaries hanging around their plaster necks, the stack of disintegrating hymnals on the mantle, etc. Wouldn't want Brian to think there's something disrespectful about our collection. Our Catholic kitch is all family heirlooms. My late grandfather's rosaries, most of them prayed to pieces, were headed to the dump when I picked them out of the trash. But will knowing that my 5' plaster Jesus has been evacuated to our bedroom be more of a torment for Brian?
Details about the exact date and time of the Savage/Brown debate to come. The debate will be videotaped and released on YouTube. Stay tuned for more info...