NY Court Rules “Gay” Is Not Slander

A New York state appeals court ruled today that falsely calling somebody “gay” can longer be considered slander.

The court says that although falsely calling someone gay or lesbian has for decades been grounds for slander, that’s no longer the case because being gay is no longer seen by society as negative. The decision Thursday involves the case of a Broome County man who sued after he was called gay, saying that hurt his relationship with his girlfriend. The court says a “tremendous evolution of social attitudes” and rights afforded to gays prompted the decision that overrules previous rulings.

RELATED: Last year when I first covered the initial ruling in favor of the plaintiff, I noted that while other jurisdictions had already ruled that calling somebody “gay” is not slanderous, the New York appeals court had never been asked to make such a ruling. Now they have and it isn’t.