There seems to be quite some confusion around the word “bigot”. I encourage its use where appropriate because, why give undue respect to people? Call a bigot a bigot. Naturally, this brings with it some issues.
Now, I use the term when referring to foes of gay marriage. But I’m being general right now. I’m actually a little more specific than that: I use it for people who advocate against gay marriage. I have one friend who believes homosexuality is wrong and a sin and blah blah blah. But as a California resident he was against Prop 8. Right or wrong, gays have rights. That belief and his voting record absolves him from bigotry. A little more than half of his fellow residents, however, are active bigots. The same goes for my state. To deny a group rights because one simply dislikes that group is bigotry. This isn’t that hard.
The next issue is that people think they can throw the term around willy-nilly. Disagree with a position? Do it with little respect? Do it with aggression? Why, that’s bigotry, of course! Except it isn’t. If that was the case, every instance of revolution or social upheaval, regardless of context, would be a bigoted endeavor. A “bigot” isn’t just someone who thinks what you believe is stupid.