Yesterday, Hawaii's Republican Governor Linda Lingle cast a veto on legislation that would have brought same-sex Civil Unions to Hawaii - to loud and raucous cheers from mean-spirited conservatives.
Readers of this blog will know where I stand on the issue of same-sex marriage - but I've at least grown to understand the 'thought process' behind conservative Christians being opposed to gay 'marriage' as an institution.
It's a ridiculous argument, of course - based on a flawed and inaccurate concept of 'traditional marriage' and the defense of 'religious freedoms' that aren't essentially any different to the 'religious freedoms' segregationists fought for in the 1960s - the 'freedom' to deny lodging and service to anybody with brown skin.
But there's at least some consistency to their arguments.
Same-sex Civil Unions, on the other hand - in opposing that, they're just being knobs.
Civil Unions are an imperfect compromise: Same-sex couples reluctantly surrender the right to call their commitment 'marriage' in order not tread on the toes of hyper-sensitive religious conservatives - in return, they expect the conservatives to reluctantly grant them legal protections roughly commensurate with a 'traditional' heterosexual marriage.
Neither side gets what they really want - gay couples have to pretend that Civil Unions don't mirror all that segregationist legalisation from the sixties that claimed to be 'separate, but equal', while conservative Christians have to stop being bigoted idiots for a second and concede that the American principle of 'equal protection under the law' does actually include homosexuals.
But for the most part? A fair deal for either side.
Yet drooling conservatives still showed up in force to fight the Civil Union legislation in Hawaii and after twisting the arm of Governor Lingle, it looks like they've succeeded.
Their 'victory' is a neat little reminder that there's very little 'Christian' about many conservative Christians - and whatever they're fighting for, it's no longer about protecting their own 'rights' but more about denying the rights of other people.
You can put together a not totally retarded argument against gay marriage (or, at least, they're attempting to do just that in the California Supreme Court at the moment.) You cannot, however, argue that there is any moral or legal precedent to deny same-sex couples the right to a Civil Union.
It's so clearly unconstitutional ('all men are created equal', 'equal protection under the law' and 'the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' being some of the inalienable rights the veto violates) that I fail to comprehend how Governor Lingle could stand up in front of the TV cameras with a straight face and argue: "It would be a mistake to allow a decision of this magnitude to be made by one individual or a small group of elected officials."
That's exactly how civil rights issues are decided - from the Emancipation Proclamation to Loving vs. Virginia. It's a proven fact that if you leave the issue of equal rights up to the electorate, you end up with unmitigated disasters like California's Proposition 8.
If this has taught us anything, it's that conservative Christians are unwilling to compromise on their bigotry at any level - so it's hard not to support the LGBT community when they decide to cast aside compromise themselves and take the fight for marriage equality - gay marriage, not some 'separate but equal namesake' - all the way to the Supreme Court.