Utter solitude wrote: There is a big difference between discussing someone's ideas and beliefs, and insulting them as a person. It is possible to say "I disagree with _____", but sometimes it's hard when it's something that hits a nerve.
Of course. But it's not like we can add an exception to the rules that people are allowed to be rude if they feel offended. Like I said, two wrongs don't make a right; acting rudely towards someone who has offended you accomplishes nothing except make the discussion more toxic. Offensive statements should already be against the rules, so any user who has said anything homophobic/racist/etc. should be warned and/or banned as necessary; there is no reason for any other users to engage.