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Mexico's top court: Anti-gay terms are hate speech

BY OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled that two anti-gay words commonly used in Mexico are hate speech and not protected as freedom of expression under the country's constitution, allowing those offended by them 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 into "faggot."

The majority said the terms are offensive and discriminatory.

"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," their opinion said.

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