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"Homophobia" is most commonly used to indicate a general opposition to the idea that homosexuality is an acceptable state of being. It is rarely employed in its full "strong" sense, i.e. an irrational phobic response to the very thought of same-sex relationships.

Those who oppose the acceptance of homosexuality often react angrily to the word's use, believing that it is employed to trivialize or disparage their objections, without proper consideration of their actual arguments.