Dan Savage and Brian Brown’s Dinner Conversation

Jim Burroway

August 22nd, 2012

The video you’ve been waiting for has been posted online


August 22nd, 2012

I will not even be watching this. Brian Brown is not even worth a second of my time as far as I’m concerned.

Rick Loesser

August 22nd, 2012

I agree with Stefan. I’d like to be open to dialogue with anyone, but I sincerely doubt Brian Brown’s ability to have a reasonable conversation about anything.

Priya Lynn

August 22nd, 2012

I on the other hand will be watching it at a later time. I expect Brian Brown will appear foolish/dishonest trying to defend the indefensible and I want to see if that is born out.

Scott Rose

August 22nd, 2012

Dan Savage did not push back hard enough against NOM’s Brian Brown on the Regnerus study. He did not specify adequately what it is that makes the “study” scientifically invalid. (A cherry picked control group compared to a test group loaded up with variables, just for starters). Then, the suspicion is that Witherspoon, NOM and Regnerus are in collusion on the study and its promotions in anti-gay-rights contexts. Brown says it does not matter that Witherspoon officials who got the study funded also are NOM officials. If it “doesn’t matter,” then why do these parties refuse to comply with document requests? Witherspoon, NOM and Regnerus right now today could comply with document requests related to the Regnerus study that have been made by multiple journalists, including The American Independent. Brian Brown only makes himself, Regnerus, NOM and Witherspoon look more suspicious, by refusing to comply with the document requests. After all, if the documentation exonerated these parties, wouldn’t that work in these parties’ favor? They are hiding the evidence, because the evidence contains things they want to remain hidden.


August 22nd, 2012

I don’t really want to watch it… can someone who did tell me if we appeared to win or lose?


August 22nd, 2012

Esurience: I suspect anyone watching the debate (and I have) will take from it what they want. Savage hit hard and strong with facts and solid arguments, whereas Brown recited the same talking points anyone familiar with his career can probably recite by heart now. (I will note that even Oppenheimer made some comment to Brown something to the effect of “yes, I know the talking points” as Brown evaded one of the questions he directed to both Brown and Savage.)

I do feel that Savage could have pushed a couple more points a bit harder. For example, Savage pointed out where the FRC claimed that “homosexual activists” want to repeal all age of consent laws and turn pedophiles into “prophets,” which Brown then tried to characterize as “a difference opinion on homosexuality” rather than the demonizing lie it really is. Savage let that slide too soon, in my opinion.

In my opinion, it was clear which side had strong arguments and which side was trying to play the victim and engage in the usual tactics. However, Brown did the latter with his usual smoothness that I doubt those who were already inclined to believe him will see things differently.

As for those who might be somewhere in the middle, it’s hard to say what they’ll take away, given our current climate where people want to assume the best about (non-LGBT) people and their motives.

Michael K

August 22nd, 2012

Standing on his “moral” soapbox Bearing False Witness complaining that his hand is hurt from beating people over the head with his bible and crying “oppression” when he is called out on the actual harms of his deceptive rhetoric is absurd but Brian Brown does it everyday for a very fat paycheck. He has his talking points, revisionist views and his religion but nothing else.

Brian Brown is paid well to never acknowledge that we don’t tithe to or attend his cult or that he doesn’t have the “freedom of religion” to force us to adhere to the few tenets the “faithful” don’t ignore only because they will never apply to them personally.

As long as there are customers buying Snake Oil people like Brian Brown will sell it. Giving him a bigger platform for his favorite false narrative that anyone has a “religious right” to mentally, financially or physically abuse LGBT people is foolhardy and giving him another fundraising tool is just plain stupid.


August 22nd, 2012

I don’t believe in having debates on my right as a human being to exist.


August 22nd, 2012

Ok, I watched it and again am totally bemused that a school of the caliber of Oxford would give Brown a degree rather than bounce him out and let him swim back to America.

When he and Savage were challenged to think of anything that would cause either to change their thinking, Savage came up with several possibilities that could appear in time, Brown simply contended that his beliefs would in time be confirmed.

The man has no ability to think but simply parrots religious dogma and is well paid to do so. And I know he’s well paid without seeing his paycheck. Washington DC is not a cheap place to live and doing so while supporting a stay at home wife and six(at last count) children is even more difficult to do.

Steven B

August 22nd, 2012

Savage articulated many good arguments. Brown repeated over and over NOM’s tired old talking points that he got from Maggie, about how if you believe in traditional marriage you are a bigot, and how marriage brings together the “two great halves of humanity” yada yada.

I wish someone, someday would frame the argument to be about the place of gay people in our society, rather than about the “two great halves of humanity.”


August 22nd, 2012

I think you can see the panic flitting across Brown’s face right after e says, with regard to divorce “Just because you think something is wrong, that doesn’t mean you make it illegal.” Because even he understands that he has at that moment undermined his entire case against legal same-sex marriage.

I think it is also telling that, like all pro-gay blogs, BTB has opened this up to discussion, while NOM’s own site for the video at http://www.brownvsavage.com/ conspicuously lacks a comments section.

Michael C

August 22nd, 2012

Let me paraphrase Brian’s main argument… “By calling what gay people do ‘marriage’ you are not rendering unto me the superiority I deserve.”

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts


Another Temporary Hiatus

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1971: Minnesota Couple Stake Claim To First American Same-Sex Marriage

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1954: "Perverts Vanish" From Miami

Born On This Day, 1907: Evelyn Hooker

Born On This Day, 1925: Fr. John J. McNeill

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.