Dan Savage freaks out conservatives on Bill Maher (video)

Dan Savage appeared on Bill Maher’s show the other night and had a long talk with Maher about (gay) marriage.

Dan is a gay national treasure. He is one of the most tireless advocates we’ve ever had, and is quite likely the best (unofficial) gay spokesman we have on television today (he’s better than the official spokesmen even).

Conservative Gorver Norquist was on the show as well, and judging by the camera shots, did not seem terribly amused by Dan’s jokes :)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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40 Responses to “Dan Savage freaks out conservatives on Bill Maher (video)”

  1. leliorisen says:

    Since you had the chutzpah to make that ridiculous charge Anonymous (what a suprise moniker), back it up. What’s the joke? Please genius, share your immense knowledge with the rest of us. You do not think that gay youth see these messages and that it has any impact? It is specfically an awareness campaign. It is not an umbrella for all problems lgbt youths face. Gee, maybe spome ‘advocacy’ groups can start programs for runaways. Ya think? Did Mr. Savage have to cover everything?

    If you are going to be a detractor try using some intellect to formulate an argument to discredit “it gets better.” What exactly makes it ‘a joke’ to you? No specifics’ eh? I think we know who the true joke is.

  2. leliorisen says:

    I think the lgbt community owes a debt of gratitude to Dan Savage for his incredible advocacy over the years. Does he sometimes use language that makes others uncomfortable? Yes. Can he rattle some feathers? Absolutely. However, the man is a tireless activist who gets things done.

    As this video rightfully pointed out, it was Savage and his partner who initiated “It Gets Better.” Savage has always been a leader in trying to improve the lives of bullied gay youth and highlighting their plight.

    Savage could care less about having ‘access’ and being courtly (and ever so polite to the powers that be) in making his case. He speaks in terms that people understand and in a country as prudish as America, being able to frankly discuss sex is not such a terrible thing.

    May he keep on being a hero for our community and continue to be a part of a terrific family. I am glad he so artfully stated what the Supreme Court decision now means for many of us.

  3. benb says:

    Dan Savage got me squirming, too. :)

  4. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I guess I don’t cringe as easily as you. I know my husband heard similar comments from me, and he was certainly not a cringer. My son would probably have rolled his eyes at such a comment, but my daughter probably would have posted it on her Facebook wall.

    I really don’t find it strange that people react differently to Savage. Not all gay men think alike. I rather imagine that Savage would fine it mighty strange if we all liked his musings.

  5. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I’ll ask you. What money?

  6. MikeJoePlus2 says:

    I agree with you. I cringed hearing that. I imagine his son and husband did as well.

  7. Janus303 says:

    Grover’s pro gay marriage. I don’t know why the sourpuss face. He just can’t help it. He has a face like a cat’s ass.

  8. Thom Allen says:

    The Reptilicons should have some utility other than shooting youth, inserting vaginal probes into women, forcing everyone to be “christian,” etc.

  9. karmanot says:

    Miz Manners was outraged I tell you, just appalled. I laughed my ass off, but then I an rude.

  10. karmanot says:

    Some people said that of Andrew Sullivan and,…..they were right.

  11. karmanot says:

    One wonders if a thousand reptilian points of light can make any impression.

  12. karmanot says:

    Yes, yes, that would be a good thing.

  13. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    To what money are you referring?

    Also: “should have used”

  14. Anonymous says:

    The “It Gets Better Campaign” is one big joke they should of used the
    money to house homeless gay people there are tons of runaways due to
    their parents throw them out due to their sexual orientation.

  15. Monoceros Forth says:

    I tend to agree. I like Savage more than I used to but I thought of him as a tiresome one-trick pony when I was still bothering with “The Stranger” rag. “Look at me and how shocking I am!” *rolls eyes*

  16. Thom Allen says:

    Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Dick Gregory all were politically
    active comedians. Their material was often beyond risque, but it made
    people think and struck a cord. Savage is using humor and logic to make
    quick, incisive points. That obviously even penetrated the saurians’ reptile brains on the right. It may not have changed their minds but may have caused a flash of light.

  17. Steve_in_CNJ says:

    The comment was not merely provocative, it was provoked. That stretches the boundaries of appropriate conversation.

  18. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    To each his own. My husband and I were never shy about telling others that we were unable to have biological children, but we planned to keep on trying every chance we got. I’m willing to admit that gay men like having sex.

  19. karmanot says:


  20. karmanot says:

    “about skid marks in the underwear was a bit much” I know, it brings up images of Santorum, Beck and other skid marks. ukkkkkk

  21. karmanot says:


  22. wtf2 says:

    Hmm, this is not going to be popular, but I’m not a Dan Savage fan. I do think he can be an effective spokesman. I prefer him over the mealy-mouthed types from Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, etc. who I think tend to make Teh Gays out to be what Brett Ellis calls “magical elves.” I think ultimately we’re better off with Savage’s frank presentation. But he occasionally says things like “I plan to inseminate my husband” and previously “I get to go home and tap that,” which personally I find unseemly. If he were straight and talked about tapping or inseminating his wife, I would think he was a major douche. I cut him some slack because he’s gay and is maybe being provocative to change people’s sensibilities, but, eh, I think there’s a bit of a douche in there.

  23. Randy says:

    It still is carried in the City Paper. And yes, I read it on the metro or wherever, and I don’t give a fuck if someone is reading over my shoulder. They SHOULD be reading it too!

    Okay, the column about skid marks in the underwear was a bit much, but still…..

  24. Whitewitch says:

    I love Dan – the only sad bit really is that he used to have a column in the DC City Paper (may still – been gone several years) and I used to have to read it clandestinely because is was a bit risque and I was worried someone would be reading over my shoulder on the Metro (which happened often) and see something shocking.

  25. cole3244 says:

    i think we agree or was my point lost in translation, loved the movie by the way.

  26. karmanot says:

    “I saw the suppression of a response” That just about sums up Grover’s emotional life.

  27. Houndentenor says:

    When I watched the clip what I saw was the beginning of a grin that was suppressed. I don’t think he was disgusted at all. I think he knows he can’t anger his supporters by laughing at such a joke. He’s not part of the religious right. His wife is Muslim (culturally at least, I have no idea if she’s religious) and he was on the board of GOProud. Obviously none of us knows what he was thinking, but I didn’t see disgust. I saw the suppression of a response.

  28. BeccaM says:

    Two generations ago, a famously flamboyant pianist sued a publication for slander when it suggested that he was gay — and he won.

    A generation ago, the existence of gay people was acknowledged, but our relationships and sex lives were barely ever talked about. Need evidence? Just watch the sitcoms of the 1990s. A fair number of token gay people around, almost none of ’em in a relationship.

    Ten or so years ago, we began talking about our relationships, but we weren’t really allowed to talk about our sex lives.

    As Dan Savage has shown, now even that is open for mention, discussion, and humor.

  29. Drew2u says:

    At least Dan Savage is an equal champion for straight sexual freedom, consent, and privacy as much as he is about representing his own, bi, trans, lesbians, asexuals, and everyone else in the alphabet soup spectrum of human sexuality.

  30. cole3244 says:

    as a straight man my particular orientation has no one as smart and concise as dan savage and i despise cons as much as nordquist’s glare expressed disgust as he stared at savage.
    savage scares the right because he makes so much sense and they know he speaks the truth.

  31. Naja pallida says:

    When I first watched the show I said to myself right at that moment, “What, poor old Grover can’t even manage to crack a smile?” And then when they showed the next shot of him a few moments later he was smiling and laughing. So I guess Dan got to him.

  32. GaiusPublius says:

    And John, you mention Norquist … why?

    FWIW, the Norquist reaction shot is at 3:00 exactly. Later he’s shown smiling. Watch the reaction shot again. I think he’s suppressing a pleased expression. Watch the quiver as he forces his lips not to smile.

    Just a thought,


  33. karmanot says:

    “The straight husband in Maher’s example can no longer get an erection” A few moments in Grover’s company would be sufficient.”

  34. karmanot says:

    And has all the humor of a road apple.

  35. nicho says:

    Grover Norquist is not a “conservative.” He is a dangerous radical who poses more of a threat to the US and our way of life than Al Qaeda does.

  36. Steve_in_CNJ says:

    Never disagreed with him on anything, including the Savage Rule on outing.

  37. FLL says:

    Supposedly, Grover Norquist crusades on behalf of lowering people’s taxes. If he is sincere, then he should be completely sympathetic to Edie Windsor’s case to challenge the huge tax bill she got from the IRS because the federal government didn’t recognize her marriage. As a “low taxes” advocate, he should also agree that Dan Savage’s hypothetical example of DOMA disadvantaging his husband and son in the event of his death illustrates an unfair policy. If Norquist supported DOMA and doesn’t support marriage equality, then he’s just a hypocrite with sexual issues.

    I’m glad that Bill Maher recognizes the possibilities for satire when Dan Savage gives him the opportunity.

    Bill Maher: “That’s what’s f*cking up my marriage. There are gay people living down the street. Can’t get an erection under those conditions.”

    In Maher’s example, the husband in a straight marriage could get an erection if there were no grass on the other side of the fence, but only a burnt field. Finally, after 1600 years of Christian terror, there is some healthy grass growing on the other side of the fence. The straight husband in Maher’s example can no longer get an erection if he thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Well, here’s to having some grass on the other side of the fence instead of a burnt wasteland.

  38. UncleBucky says:

    Heh! So, all along, it was Dick. Didn’t know that! ;o)

    Angry old white males, you gotta lotta ‘splaining to do!

  39. voltronforce says:

    I love Dan Savage as always.

  40. TheOriginalLiz says:

    Wonderful clip – wonderful reactions to Dan’s comments.

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