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The Dan Savage/Brian Brown debate: It’s on maybe!

May 23, 2012

The debate of the century has a venue; now it’s all just one RSVP short of becoming a reality.

If you’re just joining us, President of the National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown challenged It Gets Better Project founder Dan Savage to a debate about the Bible, after a group of Christian teenagers staged a walk-out of a Savage speech. Quoth Brown:

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!

It’s important to remember that nobody was savaging anything, and each one of those teenagers seemed delighted to be filmed walking out of the event. But still: gauntlet thrown. And today, on his Savage Love podcast, Savage named a time and a place:

“Where? My dining room table. Place? Seattle, Washington. Here’s the deal: we can fill a room with my screaming partisans and your screaming partisans and play to our respective peanut galleries, as we both have a little of the grandstander in us. I feel that will create more heat than light. So what I’d like to challenge you to do is come to my house for dinner. Bring the wife, my husband will be there. And I’ll hire a video crew and we’ll tape a sort of after-dinner debate. You have to acknowledge my humanity by accepting my hospitality, and I have to acknowledge yours by extending my hospitality to you.”

Mark Oppenheimer, who has written even-handed profiles of both Savage and former NOM President Maggie Gallagher, will be on hand to moderate, and a one-hour, unedited video of the debate will be posted to YouTube pending Brown’s examination of the footage. And, so that “no homosexuals will have their fingers in [Brown]‘s food,” a heterosexual neighbor of Savage’s has offered to cook.

Listen here. This is exactly the kind of debate this topic is begging for. No response from Brown just yet.

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