The term was invented to impugn and slander opponents of [[homosexuality]].
<ref>[http://www.narth.com/docs/creates.html Gay Psychologist Creates New Terms for Use in the Social Debate] </ref>
It is primarily used to portray opposition to the [[homosexual agenda]] as irrational based on fear or hatred
. The term is misused by [[gay activist]]s and apologists to smear Christians and others who do not sanction homosexuality on Biblical grounds.
The term is intended to sound like a form of [[mental illness]], but unlike actual phobias, it is not a term for any recognized psychological condition. The National Association for Research & Therapy on Homosexuality says,
The neologism was
invented by George Weinberg, a gay activist and psychologist, who attempted to define it in clinical literature in 1972 as "the dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals." <ref>Plummer, David, ''One of the Boys: Masculinity, Homophobia, and Modern Manhood'', [http://books.google.com/books?id=xHGz4f_2_7IC&pg=PA3&ots=U8ktZZgnAk&dq=George+Weinberg+homophobia&ie=ISO-8859-1&sig=d7hjCcZ1uuBlgdLyRjUJwEn51uA#PPA3,M1 pp. 3-4]: "'Homophobia was introduced into the clinical literature by George Weinberg in 1972, in ''Society and the Healthy Homosexual.'' At that time, he referred to it as 'the dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals.'"</ref> From there the term entered the mainstream currency through pornographic publications. <ref>Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D., published ''Beyond 'Homophobia': Thinking About Sexual Prejudice and Stigma in the Twenty-First Century,'' in the April, 2004, issue of Sexuality Research & Social Policy. </ref>
The word comes from combining the Greek prefix ''homo-'', meaning "same", and suffix ''-phobia'', meaning "fear of". In early usage by homosexual activists, the term described heterosexual fears that others might think they were homosexual <ref>http://www.narth.com/docs/creates.html</ref> The term has not been wholly accepted within the psychological therapeutic community.