A friend of mine from Triond, syine1, posted an impassioned plea for an end to bigotry titled "I'm sick of bigoted generalistations".
The web does of course bring out he worst in us. I have been told I am a bigot simply for questioning somebody's firmly held convictions. When I pointed out what bigot meant he told me if he said I'm a bigot then I'm a bigot.
When I told him he was a solipsists he was very pissed off, even more so when he found out what it meant.
One of the problems stine referred to is in the US a lot of people at both ends of the spectrum do not understand democracy. At one site we both post on quite recently
there was a yelling match going on about same sex marriage. A state had voted to make same sex marriage illegal once more after gay activists tried to extend the law to force Christian churces to perform weddings for same sex couple.
The 'liberals' were quite happy for Muslims to be exempted but not Roman Catholics.
The nastiest argument in the thread centred on a notion that in a democracy the will of the majority is not paramount and when a popular vote makes the 'wrong decision' the government must step in and 'do what is right'.
I have seen many examples of similar warped logic from the religious right too.
In a democracy the majority is always right as there are no absolutes of right or wrong. We in Europe, and among most people in the USA too, agree to abide by the will of the majority even if we as individuals do not agree. That is the price of personal liberty.
(My personal view on that is civil partnerships are in the domain of state. As for religious ceremonies, the decision should be left to the church involved with the understanding that if a church says no, it is within it's rights and there can be no legal action. It is both intolerat and undemoctatic to place more importance on the feelings of the gay community than on those of churchgoers. Some churces are of cousrse happy to formalise same sex relationships)
Bigotry breeds bigotry. As British Prime Minister William Gladstone said in the 19th century when parliament was calling for a genocidal war on Afghan tribes that resisted British rule, "Gentlemen, I can assure you that in the eyes of God the life of an Afghan herdsman is as important as any of yours."
I'm not in any way religious but I could not put the case any better than that.