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It’s Official: Being Called “Gay” Isn’t Libelous

Jim Burroway

August 14th, 2009

Thus says the Judge in the Howard K. Stern’s libel suit against an Anna Nicole Smith biographer. Rita Cosby wrote in Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith’s Death that Stern, Smith’s former lover, was gay, which Stern considered libelous:

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ruled the defamation case could proceed on 11 of the statements.

Chin dismissed Stern’s claims that statements implying he was homosexual were defamatory, although he acknowledged that gays and lesbians still suffered prejudice.

“I respectfully disagree that the existence of this continued prejudice leads to the conclusion that there is a widespread view of gays and lesbians as contemptible and disgraceful,” the judge said.

Comments

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Lindoro Almaviva
August 14th, 2009 | LINK

Thank you judge! Next!

Swampfox
August 14th, 2009 | LINK

Thank you judge. Now if only more people would feel the same way.

JimInMa
August 17th, 2009 | LINK

That’s right – take all the power out of the “insult”. So that being gay is about as average as being white, black, chinese, blond, etc. etc.

Chris McCoy
August 17th, 2009 | LINK

Be careful what you wish for.

This could backfire in several inconvenient ways.

If being called gay isn’t defamatory, it takes the mickey out of hate crimes.

“Your honor, this isn’t a hate crime because my client screamed f—-t while he was punching the deceased repeatedly in the face and throat. Because calling someone a f—-t isn’t a crime.”

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