General Question

CuriousLoner's avatar

Would this be considered slander?

Asked by CuriousLoner (1809points) October 29th, 2010

Someone around your local community calls you a fag and then states it is a fact. They even say I’m just trying to help you come out because we all know you are a fag, you’re gay blah blah blah.

You argue back and say, it can’t be as I have never be gay thus it can not be a fact. If anything you believe this is slander. Would it be correct to use the word slander in this situation?

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14 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

It’s slander if it’s spoken, untrue and unprovable and a statement that could have a seriously negative effect on your personal and/or professional life.

MrItty's avatar

It’s immature junior highschool crap. You and your friends need to grow the hell up.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@JilltheTooth “and a statement that could have a seriously negative effect on your personal and/or professional life.”

To what extent as in people would send death threats,dislike you,lose friends,money, etc..?

CuriousLoner's avatar

@MrItty This is not actually happening. I am asking if I can use the word slander in this situation. Read my tags.

paramour's avatar

Yes, it is very immature and annoying, as @MrItty says it is. However, if pressing charges, make sure that you have witnesses, or that his statement was:

// made to be implied as factual (because if he proves to say that it was an opinion, then most jurisdictions would count it as falsifiable) , and
// that he publicized it, as in having people there to witness it.

Source: Wikipedia, and my mom. :D

JilltheTooth's avatar

You need to give those details in the question itself, the tags are used mostly for directing the question to users who have expressed interest in those topics. I suggest you look up the word “slander” on legal reference websites, you’ll get a more accurate representation of the ramifications.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@JilltheTooth Then there are two ways the word slander is used one in a legal matter and one outside of law/legal purposes?

I mean does the definition change if I am taking someone to court for slander versus saying to them what I believe was said is slander?

CuriousLoner's avatar

@MrItty I apologize, I did not realize that tags were not used in that matter, I was under the impression they were meant to add to the details. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

And yes I agree it is immature for someone to do such things. But sad but true. I am sure it happens to people of all ages. :|

CyanoticWasp's avatar

If you attempt to “argue” such a thing with such a person, then you create doubt in people’s minds, where perhaps none existed before: apparently your sexuality has become a topic of debate—since you started to debate it.

You should look up the actual (and legal) definitions of “libel” and “slander” before taking our word for what they are and are not. If you’re accused of doing or being something that is untrue, your normal best course of action is ignoring it, second is denying it once. “Debating” whether you are or are not something that someone else has said only opens the question and creates uncertainty. (And if you allow it to become “an argument”, then you pretty much lose the opportunity to call it slander or libel, since it’s now “a debate.”)

perg's avatar

You could argue that it’s slander, but in order to win a legal case, you would have to prove you were damaged in some way – you lost a job, people vandalized your house, etc. Pure slander – spoken words alone – is very hard to argue as well because the act is so ephemeral. This is why you rarely see a (successful) case based on a slander claim alone; libel is usually attached because attacks that are written or otherwise recorded (tape, video) are much easier to demonstrate.

iamthemob's avatar

In some states, defamations statutes specifically include accusations of homosexuality as an actionable form of defamation. I’m not sure how current this is, as it was related to the fact that up until five years ago it was legal to prosecute someone for sodomy. But @perg is right – the problem is damages arising from the slander or the libel.

Personally, I would add that I find it offensive to attempt to charge someone for slander for making statements like the above. Sometimes there are real reasons to do so…and I’m not accusing you of anything…but it is the fact that being called gay can enable you to seek some form of remuneration because it in and of itself is a damaging statement that’s the kind of thing that reinforces the idea that homosexuality is, in and of itself again, wrong. So as a personal request (to be taken with whatever weight you would like ;-)), I would ask that you refrain from considering it unless there are some very real consequences that will likely arise from it.

CMaz's avatar

It is not if you are on your property, shouting it to the neighbor next door.

Could be harassment if it continues. But in general you can say what you want on your own property.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@ChazMaz That is an odd twist to it, hm. Suppose a lawyer could use that to turn a case in some ways right?

CuriousLoner's avatar

Also if I use the word slander in other forms, for example as an adjective slanderous or something. Does the definition remain the same?

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