Massachusetts Judge Rules Term Homosexual Doesn't Quality as Slander or Libel

Massachusetts Judge Rules Term Homosexual Doesn't Quality as Slander or Libel


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In Massachusetts, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner rules that calling someone a homosexual does not qualify as slander or libel anymore. Her reasoning is that to find the term libelous would require lending credence to anti-gay bigotry.

This ends a $1 million lawsuit filed by a former bodyguard and boyfriend of Madonna who complained that a photo in a book and two publications misidentified him as a gay man and therefore were defamatory.

Judge Nancy Gertner writes in her decision:

"In 2004, a statement implying that an individual is a homosexual is hardly capable of a defamatory meaning. ...

In fact, a finding that such a statement is defamatory requires this Court to legitimize the prejudice and bigotry that for too long have plagued the homosexual community. ...

Without some specific claim of actual harm, he is doing nothing more than trading in the same kinds of stereotypes that recent case law and good sense disparage."

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