...at least in New York.
New York court rules that falsely calling someone "gay" is not "defamatory."
A court says it's no longer slander in New York to falsely call someone gay.
A mid-level appeals court on Thursday wiped out decades of rulings, including its own, to say that society no longer treats false comments that someone is gay, lesbian or bisexual as defamation. Without defamation, there is no longer slander, the court ruled.
"These appellate division decisions are inconsistent with current public policy and should no longer be followed," stated the unanimous decision written by Justice Thomas Mercure of the Appellate Division's Third Department based in Albany. While the decision sets new case law in New York now, it could still go to a definitive ruling by the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals.
Saying Justin Bieber is "gay" - OK.
Saying Justin Bieber's shirt is "so gay" - not OK.
Perhaps we should outlaw adjectives on general principle?
Mark Shea explains the deeper context:
On the other hand, however, is the fact that the gay movement is attempting to say that it is not immoral to give in to the temptation, which is equally rubbish. And since most people know this in their bones, the fact remains that calling somebody “gay” *is* still taken as somewhere between an insult and a titillating joke when the person is not, in fact, gay, while calling somebody “gay” when they are, in fact, gay mean “this person does things I would prefer not to dwell on too much and which I regard as, at best, morally unsound”. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself why Dan Savage called kids “pansy-asses” when he want to insult them and not, say, “fools” or some other less homosexually-charged insult. If he does not regard homosexual acts as, in some sense, wrong, why would he think it a particularly exquisite stab to suggest that Michele Bachmann’s husband was a closeted homosexual? If I want to insult Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden, I do not dig down into the mud and haul up the epithet “Catholic” to hurl at them because I think “Catholic” is a good thing. Dan Savage consistently acts as though “gay” is a bad thing when treating with his enemies.
Indeed, Savage and others betray a *profoundly* conflicted relationship to language when attempting to rationalize the gay lifestyle as a positive good. Most emblematic of this is the simultaneous attempt to shout down anybody who regards homosex as disgusting with the tired epithet “homophobe” while simultaneously laboring with might and main to turn the name Santorum into a term synonymous with all that is most disgusting about homosex. It’s a remarkably telling way of expressing hostility to identify your worst enemy with what you yourself do. The question that practically screams out of Savage’s behavior–and the behavior of the legions of other advocates of homosex who cooperated in his campaign–is “exactly whose behavior do you hate and find disgusting?”
All this betrays the fact that the whole attempt of the gay movement to torque the views of ordinary people past “tolerance” and to force active approval of homosex is deeply compromised by the fact that the advocates themselves know, at some deep level, that what they do is wrong and unnatural. Attempts to re-write human nature by judicial fiat not only won’t change popular attitudes toward homosex among straight people, they also won’t change it among gays like Dan Savage either. The primary losers of this court decision will be those who want to have their cake and eat it by insisting that homosex is great–while attempting to use the odium of homosex as a weapon against their enemies. Every schoolyard bully who says, “He’s so gay!” of some enemy can now point to this court ruling and preposterously claim, “I wasn’t slandering anybody”. Everybody will know it’s a lie, but guys like Dan Savage will have to agree with the bully–or acknowledge with their words what they already acknowledge with the actions: that there is indeed an odium that attaches to homosex which they themselves exploit even as they deny doing so.
Sin is built on lies. Lies eventually collapse under their own weight of self-contradiction.
Or - to repeat - perhaps we should just outlaw adjectives?