Writing for Exodus, exgay activist Nancy Brown complains that gay-tolerant and antigay activists were treated unequally at two separate events in two different states. Tolerance activists were tolerated, Brown complains; antigay activists allegedly were not.

From her example of the Philadelphia OutFest, in which antigay activists seeking to disrupt a block party were arrested, Brown then generalizes that all pro-tolerance activists are intolerant. Brown further implies that antigay activists are as uniformly well-behaved as the ones she accompanied at a Texas State Capitol rally.

At no point in her article does Brown defend mutual tolerance; instead, she objects to tolerance in general because some gay people are allegedly intolerant.

Brown overlooks and distorts some important issues:

  • Some Texas antigay rally costs were borne by the state government, and some security costs of OutFest were borne by festival organizers.
  • Texas State Capitol rules determine where signs may and may not be displayed, and why.
  • Brown claims never to have seen a single antigay example of “obscenities” and “crude responses” among thousands of Texas antigay activists.
  • Brown joins an antigay group in describing the Philadelphia OutFest security force as a “militant mob of homosexuals.”
  • Brown overlooks other accounts of OutFest in which antigay activists hint at their own disruptive behavior that led to arrest. Instead, Brown cites aggressive criminal charges against the antigay activists — ethnic intimidation, reckless endangerment, criminal conspiracy — as proof that the would-be victims were somehow to blame for an event reminiscent of “Nazi Germany.”

Brown feigns shock at the notion that a small proportion of gay activists in Texas would be driven to disruptive behavior by an antigay rally seeking to write their families out of the national and Texas state constitutions. Then Brown blames the entire tolerance movement for the disruptors’ behavior.

Brown excuses antigay intolerance as a non-issue, preferring instead to ponder her own victimhood. Beyond her two examples from Austin and Philadelphia, Brown could have easily acknowledged and repented of other contexts in which she and her allies have advocated intolerance:

  • abstinence-only programs in public schools typically exclude pro-tolerance advocates;
  • antigay public school districts allow antigay students to violate rules against violence and sexual harassment;
  • antigay pro-life activists instruct police each year to evict and arrest their gay pro-life allies on public property at the annual National Right to Life March.

Reflecting on the arrests in Philadelphia, Brown concludes: “It seems that this is what we can expect Equality, Tolerance, and Diversity to look like in the United States, land of the free.” Sadly, instead of advocating mutual equality, mutual tolerance, and mutual diversity, Brown scoffs at them.

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