Brian Brown Accepts My Invitation to Dinner


Holy fuck, yes!
Hooray! But careful giving us flying monkeys the exact date and time. We do sometimes like to crowd your spotlight, and it wouldn't do to have a band of us causing a ruckus outside your stoop.
Hooray! But careful giving us flying monkeys the exact date and time. We do sometimes like to crowd your spotlight, and it wouldn't do to have a band of the wilder among us causing a ruckus outside your stoop while you're offering Brown another ladle of gravy.
Double posting asshole fuck!
You know what else would prevent clever, sneaky liberal editing? Live stream.
I don't envy you the evening with him but I'm so looking forward to this!
I suggest having it catered.
Why get rid of the kitsch? Mr. Brown is already being confronted w/ his anti-gay bigotry, let him also be confronted w/ his anti-Catholic bigotry. And this is about accepting you & Terry & your son as humans, right? Then let him see your humanity. It's part of your family's history, after all. Nothing says "human" more than "my family's history." Everyone's got one of those.

Now, the Mapplethorpe, that I can see you putting away.
@7 - their neighbor across the street is doing the cooking.
I think this great, not as tactical-political move, but as a real human gesture. As a consumer of the Dan Savage infotainment brand, I much prefer the generous and thoughtful Dan Savage, and I look forward to seeing it on display.
Please give some thought to the menu! It provides such potential for childish silliness and harmless passive-aggression, and while this might be beneath you, some of us more drunken spectators could use a giggle.
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! @10, I heartily agree.
So, so wonderful...

Your mom would be proud.

Wait, two people with opposing viewpoints choosing to have a civil discussion about their differences? WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING TO THIS WORLD???????
I mean, you're going to have one of your mates drop a deuce in the front seat of his car whilst this is all happening, right? C'mon, man, what precedent are you setting now??
If there's enough people there, you guys should do a "Last Supper" -esque pose. But who to put in the Judas position???
Dan, what #8 said. Evangelicals HATE Catholics almost as much as us fags. :)
He is having ANOTHER BABY. Some one give that man a condom.
I really like your choice of having a more civil discussion in your home, which forces all of the participants to acknowledge each others' humanity.
However, there is such a trend right now of people making a spectacle of themselves in their own homes (reality TV abounds with it: hoarders, etc). I'm worried about you falling in to that...
Just make sure that all the proceedings go on with the same dignity as the original gesture (acknowledgement of humanity, civil discussion) and it should be wonderful.

Kick some ass while being dignified and without making a spectacle of yourself.
How many of these before it's considered a trend?…
It will be interesting to see Brian hold firmly to his "belief" about homosexuals and their purely selfish reasons for wanting to use the word "marriage" to describe their anything but a real marriage, sex crazed "lifestyle". And how same sex couples should not be allowed to have children or adopt, as it has been proven time and again that only a mother and a father can provide the loving, nurturing, stable home environment children so desperately need in order to grow up healthy and well balanced. When your son is sitting across the table from him. THIS I want to see.
How civilized. Except for the Oppenheimer bit...
I'd be curious to hear DJ's point of view on this dinner.
Post some pictures of your Catholic kitsch on Slog!
Make sure you put plastic down on his chair, and maybe a pair of latex gloves by his plate would be a nice touch. God knows what's going to happen when he has to use your toilet. Get the Stranger's art director to make you a spray can label that says "NO HOMO SPRAY, FOR TOILET SEATS AND FAUCET HANDLES". He'll probably bring his own towel (or use your drapes).
Brian Brown is a devout Catholic, not a Protestant evangelical.
You realize you'll have to get the place fumigated afterwards, right?
Will he be bringing a camera crew? An entourage?
Just set up a microphone and put it on the Lovecast feed. That's all I ask!
Now I really want to see your living room. It sounds awesome.
Oh that is soo exciting! I can't wait to see the outcome on YouTube! Thanks Dan for being 110% awesome!!
There's nothing like an abundance of wine to get a political discussion around the dinner table going.
If that's what it takes to get a dinner invitation around here, I hate you horrible homosexuals, too. You're super evil and turning my kids gay.
@26 Ah, thank you. My mistake.

Maybe Dan thinks it's cheap or something. I stand by what I said: It's his family history. Let him be proud of it.
Brown strikes me as the sort of man-child who still drinks chocolate milk with dinner, no matter what he's eating.
I'm with nobodaddy @8: keep the kitsch. It gives you street cred. Shall we start quizzing you on your catechism?
Why move your decor? He's coming to your house and this is your history- it's not disrespectful since they're family heirlooms and things you love. Plus, he won't be expecting to see a collection of hymnals and religious items, and that will also give you some common ground. Bigoted as he is, I sincerely doubt he would start a beef with you re: catholocism vs evangelical.
37 comments in and no one has suggested poisoning the food?

Slog, I'm so disappointed in you.
So what are you guys serving for dinner? (cue the snarky predictions, but I really do want to know.)
@38 - I suggested in an earlier thread that the Browns should have to bring their own food so they can't later claim they've been poisoned.
You'll probably have tons of suggestions for prepping, but I just wanted to point you to the "Marriage Talking Points" memo that NOM provides for its members (and that Brian and Maggie almost always quote verbatim every time they're brought on as pundits on cable news):…

These seem to have been designed with what they know to be the initial arguments by same-sex marriage proponents as a way of quickly shutting down the conversation and/or changing the topic. If you can start by debating the merits *their* arguments first and go from there, you can hopefully leave them without their pat answers.
So excited about this! But I'm not sure if you'll want DJ around for the actual dinner... isn't he a little young to be exposed to Brian Brown's filth?
The cynical, snarky part of me is imagining place mats made from laminated copies of the choicest excerpts from YPW and ECDAM&F...
You'll probably have tons of suggestions for prepping, but I just wanted to point you to the "Marriage Talking Points" memo that NOM provides for its members (and that Brian and Maggie almost always quote verbatim every time they're brought on as pundits on cable news):…

These seem to have been designed with what they know to be the initial arguments by same-sex marriage proponents as a way of quickly shutting down the conversation and/or changing the topic. If you can start by debating the merits *their* arguments first and go from there, you can hopefully leave them without their pat answers.
How fun! I have a bunch of Catholic kitsch as well! Not as much as it sounds like Dan has, but I do try to keep a hand in. I specialize in the 50's era stylized stuff, especially if it glows in the dark.

Dan, I think this is a wonderful idea. I hope you have a lovely dinner party. I don't have much hope for a change of heart on the Brown's part - a buck's a buck at the end of the day, and he know's where his bread is buttered - but you never know. Maybe his wife is nice.
I think all of us should invite a close-minded person to our houses that day for a similar debate.
I agree with all who said keep the kitsch. It's part of your heritage. I don't consider myself Catholic any more, but I still have a bunch of my dad's saint statues and icons prominently displayed.

And speaking as a progressive Christian, if you want some practice and preparation before hand, I'm available (though not local). I could get my pastor in on the fun, too. He's a big fan.
How about egg-drop soup? And after everyone's had some, tear up a little as you describe how it reminds you of the hot tub in your honeymoon suite.

But seriously, I worry that two people haven't agreed to be civil. Only Dan has. This could be a fucking nightmare for Dan and his family.
I wonder what Brown's debating skills are like. Dude's got an MA from Oxford. Of course that doesn't necessarily mean he's a good debater, especially since he has to argue a position that's without merit. Dan, as I remember, has a bachelors in theater arts from a state college, but he's been a writer and editor for a long time, and he comes across well on talking head shows. I can't help but think of the famous Oxford debate in which the self-educated preacher's son James Baldwin wiped the floor with Bill Buckley.
@48: If I were Dan, I would feel VERY uncomfortable knowing that this person knew where I lived. Maybe he's not completely insane, but I'm guessing he's only one or two removed from people who are.
I vote you keep your heirlooms exactly where they are. Families have heirlooms. If it is for space reasons, then weed a few out for the evening. But, go with your gut. Just my $0.02.

Ps I'll be thinking of you and your family.
Very sorry to hear that his wife won't come. Doesn't want to be in the public eye, I expect. But it is a shame.
@41/44: I just checked out their talking points, thanks to your link. Really? That's all they've got?
My cat could do better than that.
Dan will wipe the floor with him. But it won't matter; Brown is still going to cling to "mom and dad."
Maybe either Dan or Terry should be in drag.
While I'm generally in favor of staying true to yourself and having family heirlooms on display to show that you care about family and tradition, I think toning down the Catholic kitsch isn't a bad idea. Brown would be likely to interpret having such things as a 5' plaster Jesus as mockery. Maybe keep the rosaries or the hymnals out, but displayed so as to emphasize their sentimental value over their kitsch appeal.

Remember, Dan, watch your language. No swearing. Don't give him an opening to accuse you of being disrespectful.

I hope Mark Oppenheimer writes a piece about moderating this debate.
If I were Dan, I might actually lay off the anti-NOM comments for a little while until the debate to give Brian less material to expect and thus rehearse for.
Will someone present dessert in oven mitts and an apron, saying "Who wants crème brûlée"? Will you be offering Homocil to Mr. Brown in lieu of digestive enzymes?
Those NOM talking points are repetitive and somewhat idiotic. Is Maggie Gallagher *that* obsessed with being dumped in college?
Grandpa Savage is gonna 'videotape' it?
@59, you want he should say "filmed"?
For a psychological advantage, seat him in a flimsy chair. In his case, that would be any chair that has a capacity of less than 300 lbs.
Pay attention to @44.
I'm a bit worried. Brian has a masters degree from Oxford and is a Candidate of Philosophy, meaning he is just shy of a phd. Dan is bright but he might be in over his head. I hope does well.
Ms X @46 - That's EXACTLY the problem. There is no way on earth Mr Brown will relent in the next forty years, and everybody knows this. That makes a huge difference.

It's one thing for a famous activist to show he can take on someone whose business is pushing discrimination without losing. But the example is a bad one, especially the part about arranging for queerless catering. Most of us being pressured to open our homes to haters don't have the luxury of camera crews, security, moderators and caterers.

I'll talk to haters any time - I do more days than not, knowing a good many people who are at least anti-gay if not worse - but NEVER in my own home, and I respect their homes too much to "contaminate" those places.

If I were to invite someone into my home, it would be an undecided person with whom I might get along, but not a confirmed hater. I do think it's a tactical error to appear to be trying to convert the homophobes, as it lets them play the Thought Police card, among other things. We can "take yes for an answer" if they find their own way out of their morass of hate for themselves, but they have to do that much at least.

And a point for Mr Crocodile @33.
Add this to the list of Reasons We Know We're Winning on Marriage Equality. We can afford to host nice dinners with civil debates and friendly handshakes at the end.

When Reagan was President, we were losing on every front, and had to run around flinging fake blood at people.
Friendly handshakes? Please, not. Civil is going quite far enough.
He's insistent on bringing his own video crew, so as to prevent creative & selective editing. This stinks, as it's gonna contribute to a more circus-like atmosphere, which is exactly what we we're managing to avoid with the chosen setting. And the videos are gonna be edited onto youtube within minutes anyway. Seems silly. Whatever, of course. Should be enjoyable nonetheless!
@63: Don't worry too hard. An M.A. at Oxford is just a bachelors. The M.A. is awarded a few years after graduating for doing nothing extra. (It's a medieval thing, don't ask.) So he basically has two undergrad degrees.

The C.Phil. degree is a booby prize for not finishing a PhD program. (Exists only at some of the UC's.)
I didn't realize Mrs. Brown wasn't coming, being pregnant and all (my grandmother had fourteen children, and would have jumped at the chance to go to dinner someplace where she didn't have to cook, especially when expecting, but that's these modern women for you)

If you need a woman to even out the table, or want to borrow some finger bowls or a champagne fountain, or any of those things that make a dinner party really "click", just leave a card with the girl on Thursday afternoons. I'll be happy to send anything over. Just anything....
Gah. This sounds a bit scary. Dan, you're very brave to invite him over. Good luck! And post details for us immediately afterward!
Live slog.
The comments on the NOM blog thread about Brown's acceptance of your dinner invitation are vile. It is too bad that Mrs. Brown cannot attend....I suspect that her condition will be Brian's excuse for cancelling at the last minute. I hope that I am wrong about that. Suggestion for your friendly neighbor who has offered to prepare the meal..."Angels on Horseback", a lovely appetizer of shrimp wrapped in bacon. Of course, Brian doesn't follow ALL of Leviticus.
YES! this is going to be awesome!! I'm so looking forward to it!!

I saved a bunch of RC stuff that belonged to relatives in my grandparents generation, my mom so doesn't get it.
I'm going to imagine that Brian's PR person is drawing up the victory announcement right now. "Mr Savage lived up to his name, but Brown embodied the will of Christ and smote him, right there in his own house" no wait... not smote, they'll twist that... "Brown came down on" no no no. "Brown dropped to his knees..." NO for the love of god no. We have to come up with a victory statement that has no innuendo people.
Much better idea. Although, I'd leave my house the way I like it.
Dan says, "I would have to acknowledge Brown's humanity by extending my hospitality, he would have to acknowledge mine by accepting my hospitality."

Sorry, Dan, but Brown's entire career is based on denying the humanity of gay men and women. He'll come to Dan's home, meet Dan's husband, pat Dan's child on the head, eat Dan's dinner and then deny Dan's right to marry without batting an eye. All in a day's work for Brown. No mere dinner with Dan is going to make Brown see the light.

The minds of these bigots will never be changed. Ever. Too much money and too many hate-careers are involved.
Accepting, and actually showing up are two different things. I hope it will happen, but I'm expecting at the last moment Brown will say, "Something suddenly came up." Time will tell.
@23 and 38:

The funny thing is, people who comment on NOM's forums are seriously suggesting that Brown not go into Dan's house or touch/eat anything due to poison and infection concerns.

Latex gloves, "body condoms," hand sanitizer...all seemingly serious. I would expect them to know that they can not get STDs from handshakes, but with abstinence only education, you never know...
I'm sure that he will tell you that he "loves" you but that he hates your sin and that he will pray for you.
So Mrs. Brown can't attend because she's a "full-time mother"??? Does she never leave the house?? Is she chained to the stove? Radiator? Whatever their kink is?? Please, y'all. Hire a babysitter, ffs.
I know I said it before, but bone up on your Bible, Dan. Don't let him assume the air of the condescending Biblical scholar. His secular arguments are evidence-free crap and he knows it. Don't let him take refuge in scriptural obscurantism.
We need Cienna and Eli live slogging from the couch. Think: couch camouflage.

Like LL Cool J in "Toys".
Wicked cool.
I wonder if this Brown fellow drinks. Tip the scales, tip some Scotch, and have fun!!
What will you be drinking? Single male Scotch I hope. Have fun with it.
I'm glad he accepted.

I worry, though, that DJ might be a bit traumatized if he has to listen to his family being put down and hated on. And that if he joins in in defense of his family and his dads, that it will be used as evidence that LGBT's kids don't have manners, because they weren't raised with both a biological male and female parent. Seems a heavy burden for a young teen. But I guess it really depends on the teen - some can cope better than others - and he, Dan and Terry would know best what he can deal with.
.. and fondue ..
.. and sparkling apple juice served in champagne flutes..
Dan, you need to get Brian Brown to admit that non-religious straight couples are legally permitted to marry in our country. If he acknowledges that, then what basis does he have in using his chosen religious beliefs to deny same-sex couples the same exact right to a non-religious civil marriage at city hall. If marriage is solely a religious institution then why isn't Brian trying to ban marriages of non-religious straight couples?

He also needs to acknowledge that the state issues marriage licenses, not the church; and that religious ceremonies are not required in order to get married. Basically, you need to get him to admit that there IS such a thing a secular civil marriage, and that when he continues selling the public on the idea that marriage equality is a threat to churches, he is intentionally lying.
I suggest a variety of foods and beverages prohibited by Leviticus as the meal.
the wife will go into labor, thus giving him a reason to back out.
Class moves all around. I'm looking forward to seeing the debate, and presuming it's going to be undertaken with all seriousness.
I say keep the kitsch, esp. as familiy heirlooms.

What @42 said.

and what @33 said.
No way does he show. No way.
Hell yes!
That's some courage, there. I don't trust the Red Right with their guns and intolerance. Martyrdom might make you live forever, Dan, but you'll still be dead. Be careful, man. Not trying to monger, maybe just a tad skittish.
People are worrying about Brown's silly degree? I'm worrying about Dan's temper.

It's always difficult to keep your cool when arguing with people who don't submit to logic/reason (esp while telling you on your face why your entire family's a bad idea...) and I've seen enough dan savage interviews/videos now to know that however articulate in his own space, he's not usually a very cool-headed person.

It'll look really bad if he gets really angry when face to face with repeated 'bullshit'...
Apparently Mr Brown says that it will (or perhaps should; I forget which and don't think it matters enough to check) be fun. FUN? This is a game to him? It's AMUSING keeping people trodden down and disadvantaged? Well, all I can say is that, if his deity commends and rewards his attitude, then who'd accept their Heaven as a gift?

Huge kudos for the seriously classy move. I'm SO blown away and excited that this is going to happen.

Here Brown will be, breaking bread with you and your family - this guy who probably thinks he's never met a homo before - forced to see you guys as human beings vs the myths he has built up in his mind all these years ...

I'm just so totally in love with this.

While I can't help but doubt that he and his stone-age brethren have the capacity to change their minds, there is a small part of me that hopes that inwardly, at a minimum, he's terribly conflicted, afterwards. I hope that bit by bit, it starts to eat away at him, the work he and his ilk do to denounce and demean homos, and to deny them their rights. And maybe some day that will prove a turning point - who knows ? (Ya, okay, "don't hold yer breath", but in the meantime, it would be at least a small success - this guy lying awake at night, feeling maybe semi-shitty and uneasy with himself.)

Either way, you will have been the adult, here- the grown up and the human, the one that history is set to prove dead fucking right.

Best of luck with this. I'm really proud right now to be a fan.