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Jonathan Rauch, gay-marriage ally, on deck 

It's a strategy straight from Sun Tzu's The Art of War: "It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles."

Taking that theory to heart, Focus on the Family has announced it will respond to the current marriage-equality debate by hosting the Brookings Institution's Jonathan Rauch, a leading voice for gay-marriage legalization. According to the press release from Focus, "It is important for us to hear from the best of our opponents so that we can learn to counter the arguments."

Asked about this by the Indy, Rauch replies, "Sure. Some will treat my talk as an inoculation. But some will be persuaded, or at least nudged. ... There are opponents of gay marriage who have never heard a reasonable gay person make the case for it. There are some who may not think they've ever met a reasonable gay person. You'd be surprised what can happen."

Rauch will be in town for two free events. The first will be a debate between him and Glenn Stanton, Focus' "director for family formation studies," hosted by Summit Ministries. That will be at 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24, at Glen Eyrie Conference Center, 3820 N. 30th St. To reserve your spot, which is recommended, call 685-2855.

The second event will be a lecture the following morning at Focus' International Dining Rooms, 8655 Explorer Drive. That begins at 9 a.m. and is open to the public, with a Q&A to follow.

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