Court: Saying 'You're Gay' is No Longer Slander
An increasing acceptance of homosexual lifestyles has led a New York state appellate court to join a growing list of courts that have ruled it's no longer defamatory to be falsely called "gay," Baptist Press reports. The New York court threw out a lawsuit filed by a man who said a false accusation of being gay led to a breakup with his longtime girlfriend and caused him emotional distress. Justice Thomas Mercure of the New York Appellate Division's Third Department wrote in the court's unanimous decision that the lawsuit was "based on a false premise that it is shameful and disgraceful to be described as lesbian, gay or bisexual," reversing decades of rulings to the contrary. "These appellate division decisions are inconsistent with current public policy and should no longer be followed," Mercure said, citing "the tremendous evolution in social attitudes regarding homosexuality" that excluded it from such defamation as "accusations of serious criminal conduct or insinuations that an individual has a loathsome disease." New York last year legalized gay marriage, which is now allowed in six states.