OK, here's the story. There's this issue that sharply divides public opinion, with strong feelings on all sides. So the people had a serious discussion about it, and then they voted. Of course, one side didn't get they result they'd hoped for (perhaps even, the result they'd been convinced they should have gotten), but that's the way these things go. One of the cool things about democracy is that it offers a way to resolve such differences without violence.
The best thing to happen after such an exercise is that all sides involved, including the side that lost the argument, puts it behind them and gets along with life. Sometimes, however, the losing side can't do that, because it's too important for them, so they respect the result but keep the discussion going, in the hope that at some future date their position will prevail. Democracy allows that option, too. Society can change its mind.
What isn't supposed to happen is that the losing side goes witch-hunting. Say, by forcing a public figure to resign from his post in disgrace, because he took a position in the discussion. That's not supposed to happen. Nor suggesting that if he publicly recants and beg forgiveness he might, just might, be reinstated, after abjectly appologizing and changing his ways of course. It's not supposed to work that way.
Weirdest of all, in this very weird tale, is the justification given for punishing the man: that his position was hurtful. Even he has accepted the premise, and is already tearfully begging forgiveness that his convictions were hurtful to anyone.
Looks to me like someone ought to start teaching the fundamentals of democracy in American schools. I apologize if this hurts anyone's feeling, my saying so, but no, I won't retract it. Not.