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He lives in the manicured neighborhood of Sherwood Forest, Detroit, where auto-industry execs once retreated to cocktails in their mini-mansions after laboring at halcyon day jobs. I live on the tumbleweed-riddled Colorado plains, where flatness rolls in from Kansas and meets the Rocky Mountain Front Range. My home is where the deer and the antelope play, and eat our shrubs. His is not far from where Eminem used to play.

I spend my days researching family anthropology at a large evangelical ministry. My nonworking hours are spent alongside my wife, raising our five young children and meeting the omnipresent demands of homework, music, and art lessons. He is an atheist teaching philosophy at an urban university who spends his nonworking hours working in the garden, hosting dinner gatherings with his partner, and keeping active in local GLBT politics.

He was raised on Long Island and prefers Democratic politics. I was raised in the panhandle of Florida and find more connection with Republicans. He is a fastidiously dressed man; as long as my khakis don't show any kid-delivered jam stains, I'm good.

John Corvino and I are highly unlikely though dear friends who travel long distances for one purpose: to fight passionately with each other in front of large crowds. At the invitation of law schools and student activities groups, we have met at colleges a few times each semester for the last six years to debate the issue of same-sex marriage and parenting. We are compelled by the conviction that it's a topic too important to be left to the cheap exchange of sound bites. And we want to show young people how democracy not only allows but actually demands debate that is thoughtful, passionately disagreeable, yet civil. We have no interest ...

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January 2009

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