The goal of The Atlantic Monthly's recent LGBT Summit was to gather a flock of politicos, artists, activists and scribes to discuss the "Unfinished Business" of queer culture, after a historic win for gays at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The summit's final speaker was Andrew Sullivan, the British-born, HIV-positive, occasionally conservative, liberal Catholic whose trailblazing online journalism helped shape so many public debates.
Sullivan ranged from the genius of "South Park" to the impact of smartphone apps on dating, from the positive impact of gay porn to the lingering self-loathing that prevents some gays from embracing drugs that could end AIDS. He attacked Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, while yearning for another term for President Barack Obama.
Most of all, he stressed that it's time -- after a "tectonic" cultural shift on sexuality -- for professional LGBT activists to end the "whiny victimhood" in which they recite a "you're a bigot, we're oppressed, why do you hate us" litany to Americans who disagreed with them about anything.
Calling himself a "classical liberal," Sullivan stressed that gay leaders must accept that some believers will not surrender the ancient doctrines that define their faith. Thus, it's time for honest conversations between believers, gay and straight.
"The blanket … I would say, yes, bigotry towards large swaths of this country who may disagree with us right now … is not just morally wrong, it's politically counterproductive," he said, drawing screams of outrage on Twitter.
"Religious freedom is an incredibly important freedom. To my mind it is fundamental to this country and I am extremely queasy about any attempt to corral or coerce the religious faith of anybody."
Sullivan's comments captured one of the tensions that dominated the Religion Newswriters Association poll to select the Top 10 religion news events of 2015.