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


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.
Stroke of brilliance.
Please set a time limit on answers.

gloomy, Hoorah for the Sista's! Yeah, maybe not in this case but still...
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.
Brain Brown will likely bow out of the dinner invitation, as he says he's allergic to cock.
Taken in the right direction, but a giant leap when a grandmother's step was probably best.
Wow. That is classy, Dan. Good for you. How is this invitation extended? Have you contacted him directly?
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.
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.
Wow, that's such a great idea, I love it. Well played sir.
What a coincidence. I'll be hiding in the bushes outside your house that night.
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.
Maybe you should also ask them to bring their own food so they can't claim later that they've been poisoned.
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.
Thanks Allyn @12. Great idea. Can't wait to see the video.
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."
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.
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.
@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.
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.
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.
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.
@ 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...
Ah, hadn't spotted the transcript @16... awesome. "Ball's in your court" (giggles). Not "Balls are in your court"? You sure? :D
Brilliant strategy. Simply brilliant. Or should that be simple and brilliant. No matter, as both apply.
My favorite reposting of this was at goodasyou. Title : "Dan Savage invites Brian Brown to nom, nom, nom at his house." Caption: "Pass the popcorn (It Gets Butter).

Can't wait to see this.
@24, He's already agreed to it. That's what "name the time and place" means.
I'll bet he brings a plastic sheet for his chair. And his own silverware.
@ 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.
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.
Oh Dan. You are a brilliant tactician. This whole thing makes me want to do a little dance of glee.
Serve pork and shellfish, and he'll bring up Leviticus with his mouth full.
A class act, Dan. Really enjoyed your zen-like mastery of the situation.
Sounds lovely. Especially the home cooked meal. I love cooking and baking.
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.
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?
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.
@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.
@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.
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.
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?
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?)
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.
Great idea, played like a gentleman. Now watch your language. Don't hand him that weapon.
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.
Sir, you are a genius.
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!!
#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.
#39 I found the chapter. It's John 6.
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.
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,,,,,
Very classy. I hope he agrees, but I think he wants a screaming colosseum.
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.
brilliant, bravo. very, um, christian of you, if you don't mind my saying so.
This is genius and classy, Dan. Trust you to pull something creative and potentially productive out of the hat. It's brilliant.
What a great proposal Dan. Very classy. Very constructive. Thanks for taking the high road.
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!!
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.
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.
oh hey, watching and old Daily Show and Zach Wahl has a thing about this already.
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.)