Yesterday, a midlevel appeals court annulled years of rulings which found that falsely calling someone “gay” counted as slander. Judge Thomas E. Mercure of the Appellate Division’s Third Department wrote in his ruling that society no longer considers these labels defamatory, and thus there is no slander. Previous rulings were “based on a false premise that it is shameful and disgraceful to be described as lesbian, gay, or bisexual,” and are “inconsistent with current public opinion and should no longer be followed,” he wrote.
The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit in which a man sued a woman for having spread rumors that he was gay. He claimed she did so so as to break up his relationship with his girlfriend, which she did do. (Photo: Guillaume L./Flickr)