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And we have a winner in the gay-marriage debate!

With all the backlash over “legitimate rape” vs. illegitimate (sic) rape last week, another great debate got a little lost in the shuffle: the gay-marriage debate between Dan Savage, sex columnist and married gay dad of one adopted son, and Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage and straight married father of seven biological kids.

When Savage called some teens who walked out on a speech of his criticizing parts of the Bible as “pansy-assed,” Brown challenged him to a debate to see “what a big man you are in a debate with someone who can talk back.” Savage accepted, going so far as to have Brown over to his home for dinner with his husband and child before a sit-down debate moderated by the New York Times‘ Beliefs columnist, Mark Oppenheimer.

The result is an awesome, hour-long, intellectual duel that’s the closest thing most of us liberal, art-loving political junkies will get to truly enjoying a sporting event — what with the ball going back and forth between the two courts, the referee determining play, points being scored until one team emerges as victor, and the exhilaration felt when that team is your team. We may be biased, but no objective observer operating on logic and reason could deny that Brown got spanked!

Even so, it’s always good to hear the other side’s arguments, just to ensure you always know what you’re fighting against (rather than just automatically kicking and screaming). Of course, this debate will only justify all that kicking and screaming. But it’s certainly a more entertaining and bearable way to stay informed than watching Fox News.

You can see pictures of the event in its corresponding Times article and watch the entire video on YouTube.

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Photo credit: Stuart Isett for The New York Times