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Judge: Homosexual Isn't Libelous Term

 

MARTIN FINUCANE

 

Associated Press

 

 

BOSTON - Stating that someone is homosexual does not libel or slander them, particularly in light of new court decisions granting gays more rights, a federal judge has ruled.

 

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner came as she threw out a lawsuit by a former boyfriend of pop singer Madonna who claimed he was libeled because his name appeared in a photo caption in a book about Madonna - under a picture of Madonna walking with a gay man.

 

"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," she wrote in her opinion Friday.

 

The attorney for plaintiff James Albright, who had worked for Madonna as a bodyguard, didn't immediately return telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment Saturday. Attorneys for the defendants, who included Madonna biographer Andrew Morton and St. Martin's Press, the publisher, also didn't respond to messages.

 

Gertner said other courts' rulings that stating someone is homosexual is defamatory had relied on laws criminalizing same-sex sexual acts that might well be unconstitutional. Previous decisions hadn't taken into account more recent decisions recognizing gays' equal rights, she said.

 

She pointed to a Supreme Court ruling last year that found a Texas sodomy law unconstitutional, and to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling last year that it would be unconstitutional to prevent gays in the state from marrying.

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Anyone want to hazzard a guess as to the judge's sexual orientation? I'd be willing to bet the house that she is a lesbian. :o

 

I really don't see how the subsequent legalization of gay marriage in MA bears upon a libel lawsuit that HAD to have been filed months before the current "questionable" legislation was enacted. At the time of the incident, branding someone, without documented fact as gay, especially someone in a profession where such an accusation could indeed hinder employment, could definitely be considered as libel, and should be judged on the merits of the situation at the time, not summarily dismissed.

 

Abortion rights are legal via a Supreme Court ruling, which is much more than gay marriage rights can claim. Making unclaimed accusations of abortion against an individual, celebrity or otherwise, in the public press, is often prosecutable as acts of libel, so why is this case any different? Why is it okay to make undocumented claims accusing someone of being gay? :(

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I don't think that she viewed the legal decisions she quoted as being "questionable" at all. Rather, she found decisions by the US Supreme Court and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court informative and guiding. And her point is that society has moved -- or is moving -- to a point where saying that someone is gay is much like saying that they are white or a man or six feet tall. In other words, she believes that it's becoming something we should look at as merely descriptive and she's not willing to institutionalize bigotry by saying that by calling someone gay you're harming them.

 

I found the ruling to be a refreshing breath of fresh air.

 

And, to answer your question, it's been a while since I've seen an article about her, but I seem to recall that she is married and has two sons.

 

BG

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That still does not address the issue where falsely stating a celebrity of having an abortion/abortions, even though abortion is legal under a Supreme Court ruling, can be deemed libel, but falsely accusing a celebrity of being gay/engaging in gay sexual activities, is not libel!

 

What is the difference? IMO, none! False statements about anyone in the public media are grounds for libel, period, as it is not the legalitly/illegality of the actions, but the false statements about such activities that are the basis of libel. :(

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VaHawk there is a big differnce.

 

Having an abortion is an act. So if you accuse someone of doing something that they did not do, then that could be libel.

 

Accusing someone of being gay, according to this judge, is accusing them of being something, which she rules is not disparaging. It can't be libel to say someone has blue eyes, if they really have brown eyes. It can be wrong, but it is not libel.

 

Say you accuse some one of being Italian, but they are not. Is that libel? No. The judge has rules the same goes for saying that someone is gay. Its actually a landmark decision, and signifies great progress.

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>VaHawk there is a big differnce.

>

>Having an abortion is an act. So if you accuse someone of

>doing something that they did not do, then that could be

>libel.

>

>Accusing someone of being gay, according to this judge, is

>accusing them of being something, which she rules is not

>disparaging. It can't be libel to say someone has blue eyes,

>if they really have brown eyes. It can be wrong, but it is

>not libel.

 

I'm sorry to tell you this, but you are wildly misinformed. Defamation law has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the status/conduct distinction you're describing.

 

Whether a statement is defamatory is subjected to a rather straightforward and simple standard: namely, whether the statement would be likely to injure a person's reputation, i.e., lower the esteem in which he is held in his community.

 

Whether or not it is justifiable that the accusation would be reputationally injurious is irrelevant. The only question is whether the accusation, if believed, would result in reputational harm.

 

I don't see how it can be denied that - even today - being perceived to be a homosexual, in most communities, could cause substantial reputational harm. The fact that it is unjustifiable to suffer reputational harm from the accusation, or that the accusation is about status rather than conduct, is totally irrelevant to the inquiry.

 

That's why this sounds like yet another Judge who imposed her own views and, in doing so, overrode the law. The Judge may not view homosexuality in a derogatory way, and the Judge may think that it's wrong to view homosexuality derogatorily, but her personal views ought to be irrelevant to the only relevant question: that is, is being accused of being homosexual an accusation which is likely to lower the esteem in which the person is held by his community? If the answer is yes, then the statement is, by definition, defamatory.

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Guest DevonSFescort

>That's why this sounds like yet another Judge who imposed her

>own views and, in doing so, overrode the law. The Judge may

>not view homosexuality in a derogatory way, and the Judge may

>think that it's wrong to view homosexuality derogatorily, but

>her personal views ought to be irrelevant to the only relevant

>question: that is, is being accused of being homosexual an

>accusation which is likely to lower the esteem in which the

>person is held by his community?

 

What if -- hypothetically speaking, of course -- his community's in, say, Massachusetts, where a majority of the population supports gay marriage? How small would the anti-gay minority have to get before his "esteem" isn't lowered (I have to admit I feel a little surreal responding to a post in which you're worried about someone's lowered "esteem") to the point that the government needs to be brought in to give it a financial massage? You must be one of those sensitive Metrocrats I've been hearing about. :*

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>What if -- hypothetically speaking, of course -- his

>community's in, say, Massachusetts, where a majority of the

>population supports gay marriage?

 

Sadly, I'm compelled to notify you that your premise is false. Not the part you sarcastically labelled as hypothetical (that he lives in Massachusettes), but instead, your description of the views of the majority of citizens of that state regarding gay marriage. A majority of citizens in that State oppose - not favor - gay marriage. That's why they had to get 4 judges to impose it. If gay advocates had been able to persuade a majority of citizens to favor gay marriage, then they could have enacted the law democratically.

 

But I will graciously assume that your false premise is accurate and answer accordingly.

 

How small would the

>anti-gay minority have to get before his "esteem" isn't

>lowered (I have to admit I feel a little surreal responding to

>a post in which you're worried about someone's lowered

>"esteem") to the point that the government needs to be brought

>in to give it a financial massage? You must be one of those

>sensitive Metrocrats I've been hearing about.

 

First of all, the inquiry would never center on what people in an entire State think, since that's far too large and diverse an area to matter. The issue would be what the effect on his reputation would be in his community, which is a much smaller sampling. People in Mass. could, on the whole, think gay people are OK, but people in his community may hate them.

 

Second, although I don't know the exact standard for defamation in Mass., it's almost never necessary to demonstrate that your reputation would be harmed among a majority of citizens. Instead, you need merely prove that your reputation would suffer substantial injury or some similar term. Like most terms in the law, the standard is not mathetmatically precise or susceptible to definitive proof. Instead, it's an approximate standard with ranges.

 

At the very least, in order to know whether this standard is met for the plaintiff's community here, you'd expect to have to hear some expert testimony on census data, views of the community on issues, etc. to know whether this plaintiff would suffer reputational injury in his community. This Judge didn't need any of that, apparently. She knows best. She decreed that being called a homosexual isn't defamatory because . . . well, she says so and doesn't think it should be. Judges are so, so smart - and so, so, just - and really do know what's best for all of us.

 

Third, your core reasoning is quite flawed. The mere fact that someone favors gay marriage doesn't necessarily mean that they think there's nothing wrong with being gay. I think that a 75-year old man should legally be permitted to marry a 17 year-old girl, but that doesn't mean that it would have no negative effect on how I view the old pig who did this. If one were following the law of defamation - something this judge didn't bother to do, because the law is so antiquated and besides the point when compared the The Wisdom of the Judge - one would need to know a lot more than the percentage of people approving gay marriage in the state before being able to decide if this accusation is defamatory under the law.

 

But none of this should detain anyone here from cheering the result. When it comes to the law, it's the result that counts. If you like the result, it must mean it's a good judicial decision. That's how courts are supposed to work.

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Guest DevonSFescort

>A majority of citizens in that State oppose -

>not favor - gay marriage.

 

Really? As of when? Haven't the polls coming out since the ruling shown support in Massachusetts to be quite high? In fact, the latest national poll I'd heard about, by Gallup a couple weeks ago, had 55% of Americans saying homosexual marriages should be recognized as valid by the law, so I find it hard to believe people in Massachusetts have dropped back down below 50%. Don't get me wrong, I see your point below...

 

>That's why they had to get 4 judges

>to impose it. If gay advocates had been able to persuade a

>majority of citizens to favor gay marriage, then they could

>have enacted the law democratically.

 

But even if you don't approve of such judidical tyranny, in the case of gay marriage it seems to have been refreshingly persuasive, especially when compared against such classics as Roe v Wade and the like. I do respect your taking what is obviously a principled position (I trust that's obvious; one only breaks out the good cunty china when a worthy guest is at table), but as someone pragmatic enough...well...to be a whore, I don't know that we should hold so tightly to abstract principles that we ignore what happens in practice. So I'd like to ask whether you might concede that judicial tyranny of the kind you've been opposing, if, say, confined to the state level (I think your concerns are easier to share if applied to the federal level), could actually invigorate otherwise sluggish democratic processes, both inside and outside the state courts' limited jurisdiction?

 

It seems to me that gay marriage will have a better chance of happening via what I agree are the preferable channels -- state legislatures or ballot measures (probably more of a long shot) now that the illusion of legitimacy, and, more importantly, the failure of the sky to fall after people saw real live married homos -- now that the inconceivable has been made real, at least to people more easily deceived than yourself. As you may recall, I was taking an argument vis-a-vis marriage vs. civil unions that some African Americans, doing the inevitable Monday-morning-50-years-later quarterbacking that one does when (reluctanly sticking with the analogy, now that I've trotted it out) ESPN Classic is on and the big game is Brown vs. Board of Education: that maybe separate but equal would be a better way to go (as long as it's enforced, which "separate but equal" wasn't), not because I think straight people would think it was equal but because I thought gay people might take advantage of our then-current situation to develop an institution for and of its time, not one that literally was never designed with us in mind. In fact, on an intellectual level that idea still appeals to me, but as I've mentioned before, seeing married gay people a few blocks from my apartment, even under what, if anything, was a shakier, not to mention more localized, seal of governmental approval, resonated in a way that even the most compelling arguments had. Civil unions really WON'T do, any more, in my book, and the struggle in the Massachusetts legislature dramatized that point for me: they ARE a formalization of the notion of inferiority, and my willingness to see them, instead, as recognizing the distinctiveness rather than the inferiority, pretty much collapsed. I can (and do) favor the right marriage for everybody AND the right to marriage-lite for everybody, but I can't pretend that the double-standard isn't there. If someone as thoroughly unenamored with the institution as I am was effected this way, it makes sense that people who liked marriage and were starting to like gays but not enough to let them marry would have had a similar epiphany.

 

In fact, it all reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point book, which is basically devoted to the idea that the effective way to make big changes happen is to make little ones, not to try and bite off more than you can chew. Maybe a level of judicial tyranny that isn't appropriate at the federal level IS appropriate in smaller venues because it can create the reality its wishful thinking dreams of, almost without even trying.

 

>The mere fact that someone favors gay marriage doesn't necessarily >mean that they think there's nothing wrong with being gay.

 

Sigh -- well, you've got me there, and the worst part is you're essentially throwing my pro-marriage-lite argument back in my face.

 

> If you like the result, it must mean it's a good judicial

>decision.

 

Well, I'll admit to liking the result, but I can't claim to have wanted it very badly. Which is kind of my point. I don't think we're well served by courts that have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the period during which they serve, which is what bothers me about the perpetual nostalgia trip most anti-judicial-restraint arguments so frequently come attached to (yours, in fact, is one of the few exceptions, which is why I find it engaging). I mean, a majority of Americans didn't support inter-racial marriage rights until 1997! How upset, really, are you that the courts didn't wait to catch up to the people?

 

>That's how courts are supposed to work.

 

Well, there's a lot of "supposed to" that never quite follows through. I do see what you're saying; one has to be careful not to be glib; the same reasoning can be used by our opponents, etc. But the fact is that both sides, at any given time, ARE using the courts to wage political combat, and even politicians who oppose judicial "activism" or "tyranny" never quite seem to oppose it across the board. The ends don't always justify the means, but I don't think they should fall prostrate before them at all times, either. There's a point at which always insisting that justice be blind, which is supposed to mean you can trust, in practice means that you can't trust it, because it can't stump bumping into the furniture you don't want it to see. I think gay equality, by now, is that kind of furniture, and justice will ultimately be better served if we let it take a look around and get its bearings -- in the present tense -- every once in awhile, rather constantly wear the blindfold so it can keep its eyes shut, the better to project what it thinks people intended two hundred or however many years ago. If I'm not mistaken some of the Constitution's authors thought we were going to have constitutional conventions every so often, which seems like an appropriate expression of humility. But since that didn't pan out we're stuck having to apply the document they wrote as best we can to our own times -- which, whether you like or approve of the fact or not, we ARE rewriting today; we can't ignore the world around us, which it's why it's a "living" document and stop deferring to how we think they thought gay people should be treated back then. Yes, judicial "activism" can be overdone, but it can also be underdone, if we always put technicalities over social reality. In this case, by "imposing" its will, if this what you think it did, I think the activist court got it just right.

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>Sadly, I'm compelled to notify you that your premise is false.

> Not the part you sarcastically labelled as hypothetical (that

>he lives in Massachusettes), but instead, your description of

>the views of the majority of citizens of that state regarding

>gay marriage. A majority of citizens in that State oppose -

>not favor - gay marriage.

 

Not precisely.

 

"...almost half (49 percent) of Massachusetts residents support same-sex marriages. However almost the same number of Massachusetts residents oppose same-sex marriages (47 percent)."

 

Presidents have been chosen on narrower margins.

 

http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=28726

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Sigh

 

>Anyone want to hazzard a guess as to the judge's sexual

>orientation? I'd be willing to bet the house that she is a

>lesbian.

 

How is your new apartment coming along?

 

You raise some interesting questions but you do so by first attacking, without merit, the Judge. If this were a publication, you would not have libeled her simply by calling her a lesbian, with or without cause, because as a person in the public eye, she has less of an expectation of both privacy and a higher burden to prove that she was defamed and that the defamation was both intentional and malicious.

 

In the particular case at issue, the gentlemen is a body guard and his only claim to celebrity is being one of a number of boyfriends of an infamous and well known pop star. He was misindentified in a caption to a photograph within an book in which he did not play much of a part otherwise, or so it appears from news accounts of this case. Had the author made further and additional remarks as to his sexual orientation, which were purposely rather than simply a case of misidentification, then perhaps he would have had a viable cause of action. As it stands, the complaint would have been dismissed merely on the grounds that he did not have much of a case.

>

>Abortion rights are legal via a Supreme Court ruling, which is

>much more than gay marriage rights can claim. Making

>unclaimed accusations of abortion against an individual,

>celebrity or otherwise, in the public press, is often

>prosecutable as acts of libel, so why is this case any

>different? Why is it okay to make undocumented claims

>accusing someone of being gay? :(

 

Again, you are somewhat misunderstanding how the law works. Celebrities, as any other potential criminals, prior to trial (e.g. O.J. Simpson, Wynona Ryder, Martha Stewart) are reported as being accused of a crime. Therefore, the media takes great pains to call them an accused murderer or a convicted murderer. In the case of Mr. Simpson, the media can say he was tried for murder and lost a civil case (where the burden of proof on the plaintiff was far lower) to the families of the two deceased victims. An analyst can comment that the civil action vindicated all those who thought Mr. Simpson guilty of murder. Or could comment that the civil verdict was proof Mr. Simpson got away with murder. Either way, Mr. Simpson would have no case for libel, although he, as anyone else, can bring any number of lawsuits he is willing to pay for.

 

It would depend on circumstances, but simply stating "Jane doe had an abortion" when this was not true would not be prosecuteable as libel. Libel is rarely prosecuted in the United States, for starters. Secondly, individuals who are not in the public eye would not be reported on in the press. If I had a newspaper column and a I wrote about an individual who was not previously a public figure and accused (or more accurately alleged this woman) had had an abortion, the context of my writing would need to be looked at and, more importantly, my motives. It is for this context that many celebrities and other public figures (i.e. politicians) do not pursue legal action against any form of media when it is published that they use drugs, fight, are getting divorced, or are otherwise disparged. In the U.K., standards and the law are far different, which is why some public figures do pursue court actions there and that may have confused you.

 

In this country, saying President Bush, for example, used cocaine, particularly in an article which is otherwise negative about him, would appear to be maliciously intended and there certainly would be little available proof of the truth of this allegation for the writer. Nonetheless, this accusation, which has been frequently made, as are many articles in journals such as The Inquirer or The Star, about celebrities' sexual orientation, breast enlargements, divorces and, yes, abortions, are not pursued as cause for legal action.

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RE: Franco, Esq.

 

Look what we have here - yet another Franco post where - despite no legal training or legal education of any kind - he holds himself out as an expert in the law, patronizingly tells others that they are misinformed and confused about the law, and then proceeds to blather - in the most amazingly pompous way possible - inaccurate statement after inaccurate statement about the law.

 

>In the particular case at issue, the gentlemen is a body guard

>and his only claim to celebrity is being one of a number of

>boyfriends of an infamous and well known pop star. He was

>misindentified in a caption to a photograph within an book in

>which he did not play much of a part otherwise, or so it

>appears from news accounts of this case. Had the author made

>further and additional remarks as to his sexual orientation,

>which were purposely rather than simply a case of

>misidentification, then perhaps he would have had a viable

>cause of action. As it stands, the complaint would have been

>dismissed merely on the grounds that he did not have much of a

>case.

 

You completely missed the entire point of this legal decision. The holding of the decision was that it can never be defamatory to accuse someone, accurately or not, of being a homosexual, because the stigma against homosexuality is no longer strong enough to cause the type of reputational injury which is required in order to sustain an action for defamation.

 

Thus, all of the factors which you cite and claim would have a bearing on the outcome - such as whether the accusation of homosexuality was intentional or not, whether it was accurate or not - are completely and totally irrelevant. According to this decision, it can never constitute defamation to call someone gay, whether it is done purposefully or accidentally, whether it is accurate or inaccurate.

 

Isn't it amazing that you constantly tell others - as you told VaHawk here - that they don't know the state of the law and are "confused," even though you can read an article about a legal decision without having even the slightest understanding of what you just read?

 

>Again, you are somewhat misunderstanding how the law works. . .

 

"And I know this because I watch a lot of TV shows about lawyers."

 

>It would depend on circumstances, but simply stating "Jane doe

>had an abortion" when this was not true would not be

>prosecuteable as libel. Libel is rarely prosecuted in the

>United States, for starters.

 

Actually, Mr. Legal Expert, libel is never "prosecuted" in the United States, because libel is not a crime.

 

And accusing a woman of having an abortion who did not, in fact, have an abortion, is absolutely actionable as defamation. Your claim that it would not "prosecutable" is just wrong, but that's what happens when you pontifficate about topics about which you know next to nothing.

 

Secondly, individuals who are not

>in the public eye would not be reported on in the press. If I

>had a newspaper column and a I wrote about an individual who

>was not previously a public figure and accused (or more

>accurately alleged this woman) had had an abortion, the

>context of my writing would need to be looked at and, more

>importantly, my motives.

 

No, this is also entirely wrong. If the accusation is true, then nothing else - motives, context, etc. - matters. Truth is an absolute defense to defamation, in case you haven't heard. I guess you had an escorting appointment on the day they taught that in the law school you attended and you had to miss class.

 

But don't let any of this stop you from telling others how misinformed and confused they are about legal issues. I recently read a post here by your legal colleague, Trilingual, in which he pretensiously lectured VaHawk on the intricacies of constitutional law which set a record for the highest number of inaccuarate statements about the law ever contained in a single post. So when it comes to condescendingly trying to show others how much you know regarding topics about which you actually know nothing, know that you are not alone.

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RE: Franco, Esq.

 

>Actually, Mr. Legal Expert, libel is never "prosecuted" in the

>United States, because libel is not a crime.

 

May 16, 2004

 

Man faces criminal charges

 

By Shane Benjamin, Herald Staff Writer

 

A Durango man suspected of creating false documents and Web sites to intimidate and humiliate people has been charged with five counts of criminal libel - a rare and somewhat controversial charge in Colorado.

 

While people often sue others for libel in civil court, pressing charges in criminal court - where jail is the consequence - is unusual, lawyers and a district judge said.

 

Davis Temple Stephenson, 36, held an unusual grudge against college professors, landlords, police officers and even some students, said Durango police Capt. Dale Smith.

 

The former Fort Lewis College student is suspected of writing several letters on official government letterheads and sending them to families and employers of his victims, Smith said. The letters make false allegations and statements about the individuals involved. Some letters were sent on Fort Lewis College letterhead.

 

The FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation are helping with the case.

 

"He was causing a lot of problems to the victims and causing fear," Smith said.

 

But while Stephenson faces 24 felony charges and has 13 restraining orders against him, the five counts of criminal libel are new ground. Several Durango-area lawyers said they are familiar with libel in the context of civil cases, but not criminal.

 

"It's a rarity for it to be charged," said Durango lawyer William Herringer, adding that he has never dealt with the charge in his 10 years of practicing law.

 

Public Defender Tom Williamson, who has practiced law for 19 years, said he couldn't make head or tail of the law. "It certainly gives the district attorney a great deal of discretion and power to prosecute people given how broad this statue is," he said. "I've never seen it charged before."

 

Chief District Judge Gregory Lyman, who has been a judge for eight years and a prosecutor for four years, had never heard of the law. "I wouldn't have known that (it) was on the books," he said last week. "I've never seen it charged."

 

The law appears vague and hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, said Lyman, referring only to the statute and not Stephenson's case. When asked to create a scenario in which a person might be charged with criminal libel, Lyman suggested this:

 

A person posts signs around town saying another person is retarded, and the person actually is retarded. "What are natural defects?" Lyman asked. "I'm not sure."

 

The District Attorney's Office has declined to discuss details about Stephenson's case while it is pending. When asked to explain the law, Deputy District Attorney Todd Norvell, who is prosecuting Stephenson, referred The Durango Herald to the statute itself.

 

According to the law, it is illegal for people to knowingly publish, speak or distribute written documents, signs, pictures or anything of the like tending to "impeach the honesty, integrity, virtue or reputation or expose the natural defects of one who is alive." A person also commits criminal libel if a publication tends to "blacken the memory of one who is dead." The publications must expose the victim to "public hatred, contempt or ridicule," the law says.

 

Criminal libel is a Class 6 felony, punishable by one year to 18 months in prison under normal circumstances.

 

MORE AT

 

http://durangoherald.com/asp-bin/article_generation.asp?article_type=news&article_path=/news/04/news040516_1.htm

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RE: Franco, Esq.

 

Oh great, now the existence of some obscure and wholly aberrational criminal libel law in Colorado - which, as the article you posted documents, even Colorado lawyers and judges didn't know existed - is going to fuel Franco's fantasy of being a legal expert and scholar, and we're going to be subjected to yet more pretensious lectures from him about the law which are so filled with error and ignorance that they would make any first-year law student cringe with disgust and pity.

 

Nice going.

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RE: Franco, Esq.

 

>Oh great, now the existence of some obscure and wholly

>aberrational criminal libel law in Colorado - which, as the

>article you posted documents, even Colorado lawyers and judges

>didn't know existed

 

Libel: Criminal libel

 

Fewer than half of the states have criminal defamation statutes. Some of those laws, though still on the books, have been invalidated by court decision. Even in states where criminal libel laws exist, prosecution under those statutes is rare. Nevertheless, criminal libel laws are used against journalists from time to time, particularly when their reports are politically charged, and the person allegedly defamed has influence with a prosecutor's office.

 

Criminal libel laws are subject to the same constitutional requirements as civil libel law. Thus, a person charged with criminal libel of a public figure can be found guilty only if the allegedly defamatory statement is false and was made with actual malice

 

http://www.rcfp.org/handbook/c01p10.html

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Only The Lonely

 

>inaccurate statement after inaccurate statement

>about the law.

 

You did not point out a single inaccurate statement. You merely expressed a high number of opionions, raised some irrelevant attacks, made some connections and inferences that both neither exist nor were made nor intended by me.

 

>>In the particular case at issue . . . As it stands, the complaint would have been

>>dismissed merely on the grounds that he did not have much of

>>a case.

>

>You completely missed the entire point of this legal decision.

> The holding of the decision was that it can never

>be defamatory to accuse someone, accurately or not, of being a

>homosexual, because the stigma against homosexuality is no

>longer strong enough to cause the type of reputational injury

>which is required in order to sustain an action for

>defamation.

 

I never stated whether or not the opinion was correct. In fact, the purpose of my response was to discuss some misunderstandings in VA HAWK's post. I do not read that you are defending his misstatements or the inaccuracies; in fact, you point to a comment of mine: Libel is "rarely prosecuted" in an attempt to make a tenous and incorrect showing of how I am so wrong, without point out that I was commenting on VA HAWK's error, simply fixating on your opinion of my comment.

 

>Thus, all of the factors which you cite and claim would have a

>bearing on the outcome - such as whether the accusation of

>homosexuality was intentional or not, whether it was accurate

>or not - are completely and totally irrelevant. According to

>this decision, it can never constitute defamation to call

>someone gay, whether it is done purposefully or accidentally,

>whether it is accurate or inaccurate.

 

I made nor offered any discussion on the validity of the Judge's opinion; her holding will either be appealed or not; it may eventually be validated by equivilent holdings in her circuit and by the Appeals Court therein. At that point, if it is upheld, there may be a noteworthy matter to celebrate. At this time, there is not.

 

 

>"And I know this because I watch a lot of TV shows about

>lawyers."

 

Here, you are simply quoting something you and your like-minded intellectual cyphers have alleged before, without basis, proof or simple recognition of reality.

 

>

>And accusing a woman of having an abortion who did not, in

>fact, have an abortion, is absolutely actionable as

>defamation.

 

Dougie, anything is actionable. Anyone, at any time, at any place, can bring a cause of action. All you need is the filing fee and the pleadings. Why, I could sue you for being an idiot.

 

>So when it comes to condescendingly trying

>to show others how much you know regarding topics about which

>you actually know nothing, know that you are not alone.

>

 

During these cold and lonely summer nights in Los Angeles, when I have only your warm words of good cheer and concern to warm my heart and I can realize how much intellectual integrity and desire to edify is in your posts, that I print them out and read them over and over again as I pray to the Goddess that one day I can be as sharp as you.

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