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This piece may be well intentioned, but it doesn't seem to get where it seems to be trying to go. If the idea is that liberals need a deeper recognition and understanding of conservative opposition to what liberals intend as the promotion of tolerance, what actually seems to come through instead is that conservatives live out in some vast wilderness beyond the New York Times, have apparently contradictory religious views, aren't open-minded (unlike Times readers!), reject things because they're different (rather than because they have some good reason to), may not care so much about bullying despite what they say, and won't tolerate tolerance. In short, it appears to reinforce superficial liberal stereotypes about conservatives instead of challenging them with something deeper.

In a pluralistic society the government can't require that everyone agree about what's right and "normal." That wouldn't be pluralism or tolerance. Ms. Winston is right if she means that the government teaching controversial moral views may violate pluralistic principles, maybe even constitutional ones. She's right if she means tolerating something (not merely "difference") doesn't imply condoning it. It seems to follow that conservatives may have a point in opposing efforts to teach that homosexuality is OK in the name of teaching tolerance. If that's her point, then it's a good one, and yes, deeper reporting about it would be helpful.

To define the issue as I see it a little more clearly, the government is probably right to rely on (supposedly) neutral and objective sources such as the APA to teach that homosexuality isn't properly considered an illness or abnormal from that point of view. That's a different question than whether it's morally or spiritually right or normal. It should be made clear that even if one thinks someone else is wrong or abnormal in some sense, that's no reason to bully them, etc. Instead of calling into question the commitment of religious conservatives to oppose bullying, taking them at their word and inviting them to participate in the process of fighting it would make more sense.