Beau Miller and Patrick Summers have been dating for four years, but last December was the first time they spent Christmas at Miller's parents' home.
It seemed like a breakthrough, since the younger Miller is an HIV-positive gay activist and his father Rick is a conservative Texas state lawmaker.
But barely seven weeks later, Rick Miller filed a bill that would repeal local ordinances banning discrimination against gay and transgender people.
The younger Miller said he thought Christmas was a "good step" but now, he says, his dad "wants people to be able to have the opportunity to discriminate against his own son."
Such family divides have already arisen in high-profile Republican families nationally. But nowhere is the human dimension now more vividly illustrated than with the Millers.