As a rhetorical weapon, homophobia is unequaled. It serves first to define anyone who opposes the legitimization of homosexuality as a hate-filled bigot. The universal inclusion of all opponents as homophobic is of course not emphasized. Homosexual activists publicly associate this label with violent “gay bashers” and hateful fanatics. When they use the term they want people to think about the killers of Matthew Shepard, but in conventional practice they include every man, woman and child who believes homosexuality is abnormal or wrong. The way to expose this fact is to challenge the advocates of the “gay” position to state the difference between homophobia and non-homophobic opposition to homosexuality. They will reveal that they accept no opposition to their agenda as legitimate...And, as if to confirm that for the homosexual activists there's no such thing as non-homophobic opposition - here's a related story. It turns out that merely answering NO to a question whether you support homosexuality, that too, is "homophobic".
Secondly, the term defines opposition to homosexuality as a mental illness. “Gay” activists take special delight in this since it was scant decades ago that homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry (the listing was removed by the political maneuvering of homosexual activists in a 1973 vote of the members of the American Psychiatric Association).
Thirdly, the term can be used as the semantic equivalent of “racist,” helping the “gay” movement further indoctrinate the public with the notion that opposition to homosexuality is equivalent to prejudice against racial minorities.
At the same time, if we take the word "homophobia" literally - ("fear of homosexuals") we'll see that unfortunately, the term certainly applies to many in our society; especially those that are at the top - politicians, journalists, clergymen, that are afraid. Afraid of being harassed by militant homosexuals who refuse to tolerate even slightest disagreement.