June 03, 2004

Homosexual still libel per se?

Gawker editor Choire Sicha directs us to a NY Lawyer article Being Labelled Gay May No Longer Be Defamation discussing Southern District Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. ruling issued last week in Lewittes v. Cohen, wherein he observed that "welcome shifts in social perceptions of homosexuality" create "good reason" to question the precedents embracing the per se approach.

I also saw that Legal Reader had a post last week pointing to a ruling out of Massachussets wherein District Judge Nancy Gertner indicated that stating that someone is homosexual does not libel or slander them, particularly in light of new court decisions granting gays more rights.

As Choire says, while linking to some blind items from the post, "I bet we'll be finding out the hard way about that whole gay/defamation thing soon enough."

Update: I just noticed that How Bashman has posted a link to this article on a student being suspended for wearing an anti-gay t-shirt to a gay rights celebration.

See also: "Homosexual" As Defamation


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