SEATTLE -- Seattle columnist Dan Savage has accepted an “anytime, any place” challenge from the head of the National Organization for Marriage to debate same-sex marriage.
That "any place" debate with Brian Brown will be in Savage’s home.
Savage wrote in his blog on “The Stranger” website that Brian Brown likely expected him to pick a hall that he could fill with "hooting, hollering supporters of marriage equality." Instead, Savage chose to invite Brown and his wife to dinner at his home to meet the openly gay columnist, his 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,” wrote Savage. “After dinner, Mark Oppenheimer, a (New York Times) journalist, would moderate an (sic) dinner-table debate about marriage, about equality, about the bible, and about religion.”
Brown posted on his Twitter feed Tuesday that he accepted the invitation.
The challenge was made about three weeks ago when Brown called out Savage for a speech he recently gave to some high schoolers about The Bible. Some students walked out during the speech while others cheered Savage. You can watch the video here. (Language may be offensive to some.)
“Let me lay down a public challenge to Dan Savage right here and now," wrote Brown."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!”
Brown also called on Pres. Obama and The White House to stop promoting Savage’s anti-bullying campaign called “It Gets Better," saying speeches like the one Savage gave are out of line.
Savage said the exact date and time for the debate is still being worked out. It will be recorded and posted on YouTube.
In March, NOM launched a campaign against Seattle-based Starbucks over its support of same-sex marriage in Washington state. The “Dump Starbucks” website says it has received pledges from over 42,000 people. In response, a “Thank Starbucks” campaign started by sumofus.org claims it has received nearly 650,000 supporters.
The Washington state legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage, but a voter referendum could make the November ballot to let the public decide whether it will be enacted. A separate public initiative could define marriage in Washington as being between one man and one woman. Signatures for petitions on both measures are still being collected.