I understand your reservations about the validity of the story, and I agree that they’re well-founded. And for the purposes of this discussion, let’s take that as a given and simply use the story as a vehicle for discussion of the larger themes here.
Even assuming you’re correct, I think it’s pretty extreme to end a friendship over this. The point I was trying to make was that the positions have gotten so intense and inflexible that all reasonable discussion becomes impossible. Even just saying “Yeah, I can see how that might suck for him, but unfortunately it’s too big a thing to try to change now, and we’re not calling him a sissy so I can empathize but I can’t accommodate him" isn’t the line of rebuttal, it’s excommunication, or arguments for why his feelings don’t matter. That makes open discussion much more difficult than it has to be.