As a word that gained currency in American culture in the 1960’s South (as a label for those negatively prejudiced against the African-American community), the term bigot has also been applied to those opposing or fighting against advances in gay rights in our current day. While many use and apply the term as a non-controversial and merely descriptive word, many social conservatives see the word as being overly applied to anything that stands in the way of the gay rights movement.
Given its rhetorical power from 1960’s civil rights battles, the word bigot does carry heavy emotional connotations of meanness, animosity and ignorant malice. While many LGBTQ-identifying individuals and advocates claim the term rightly represents those opposed to their equal treatment under the law, some conservatives feel troubled by the tendency to automatically be labeled as "bigots" merely for disagreeing kindly with such legislation in favor of upholding the historically orthodox Judeo-Christian position on sexuality and gender identity.
The term "bigot" is often used in interchangeably with the term "homophobia" - a fear or repulsion of same-sex attracted individuals.