Mexico supreme court rules anti-gay terms are hate speech

People offended by terms can sue

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled that two anti-gay words commonly used in Mexico are not protected as freedom of expression under the constitution, allowing people offended by the terms to sue for moral damages.

The magistrates voted 3-2 late Wednesday in favor of a journalist from the central city of Puebla who in 2010 sued a reporter at a different newspaper who had written a column referring to him as "punal" and others at the plaintiff's newspaper as "maricones." Both words roughly translate as "faggot."

The majority's opinion says the words are offensive and discriminatory.

The court ruling says that "even though they are deeply rooted expressions in Mexican society, the fact is that the practices of the majority of society can't validate the violations of basic right."

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