Bil Browning

Will love win out? How about friendship instead?

Filed By Bil Browning | November 02, 2007 4:20 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality
Tags: civil discourse, conservative politics, fundamentalists, Indiana Family Institute, Ryan McCann

This is a post that's taken a while to write... I recently attended a viewing of Inlaws & Outlaws with Ryan McCann, Public Policy Director for the Indiana Family Institute. Ryan challenged me to attend Love Won Out, the ex-gay conference, with him this weekend and I accepted as long as he went to the movie with me. We sat down the next day for lunch to chat.

bil&ryan.jpgI interviewed Ryan for the blog (and he posted on our meeting on their blog), but I've had a hard time trying to come up with the angle this story should take. After all, "Right winger thinks right wing things" isn't much of a story, eh? (As an aside, when we first set down to lunch I asked Ryan if he actually believed everything the IFI put out since some of it is ludicrous. "Yes. I write most of it." he answered. Ouch.) The hook to this post finally came to me the other day when I was talking to Alex.

I was complaining to Alex that there wasn't much of a story to this when he asked me what struck me the most during Ryan and my time together. "Use that as the story angle," Alex coached. It's a good idea obviously, so here goes...

Ryan McCann is CUTE.

No, seriously! He is! He's a normal looking frat guy type. Just looking at him, you'd never guess that he trends so far right he makes George W look moderate... And he's cute enough that I found myself hoping he was one of the typical Evangelical closet cases. (Now wouldn't that make some good blog fodder? You know me - always willing to take one for the team! LOL)

I'm always amazed at how some normal looking folks come to their warped perspectives. As an example, Ryan and I are about the same age. We're both Hoosiers. Both of us are white men. We're both Christians. We even like the same type of food! But that's about it as far as similarities go...

He thinks that employers should be able to decide not to hire a gay person if they wish. I, obviously, don't agree. He thinks that gay relationships shouldn't be recognized - whether through civil unions or marriage. I disagree. On a host of progressive vs conservative issues, we disagreed. Thankfully though, our disagreements were civil and interesting. Neither of us got upset at the other or yelled, screamed and threw things. In fact, I enjoyed his company enough to invite him to get together again soon for more conversation. (Okay, he was cute, dammit. I had to.)

I often think of those racists that claim, "I'm not being racist, I have lots of black friends..." when they're just, well, being racist and have met an African-American once. After all, what black person (or Latino, Asian, etc) regularly hangs out with KKK members? There's an inherent hypocrisy involved; if they truly had such a friend, that person would quickly set the record straight...

But now Ryan has a gay friend (although, of course, he claims others!). This friend though, will be sure to call him on the carpet for ludicrous statements and homophobic remarks. After all, friends don't let friends be bigots - even if they're cute.

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Hmm . . . I guess he could always keep his mouth doing other things anyway . . .

I read his post too... are you two blog-fliriting, or is it just my imagination running away with me! :)

Actually, you're both decidedly cute.

Yet another proof that all the good ones are either married or gay. Or both.

I wish I was lesbian, life would be so much simpler.

*blushes* Thanks Zoe. Flattery will get you everywhere!

Michele, I doubt it. As soon as we met, I thought "Damn. Gaydar is silent." I really do think he's straight. But I'm always up for straight guy flirting though... It's like that lite beer - all the taste and none of the calories.

Serena, OMG you went there. LOL I thought about making the same joke in the post, but didn't. I told him at the start of the movie that the best he could hope for was holding hands during the movie and a kiss goodnight. I'm just not that kind of girl... :)

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | November 3, 2007 7:09 PM

Jeeze, you are way cuter than him. No competition!

Seriously, Bil, when you said he was so cute, I was expecting a little something more....

Seriously, you can do better, Bil. Unless he's loaded....


I see that we have so much in common and you have good taste! Thanks again for coming this weekend! Hope to see you again soon.