Mexican Supreme Court Rules Anti-Gay Expressions Like ‘Maricon’ are Not Protected Under Freedom of Expression

Andres Duque at Blabbeando reports on a landmark freedom of expression ruling from the First Chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice, which ruled yesterday in a 3-2 decision that homophobic expressions such as "maricones" or "puñal" are offensive, discriminatory, and not protected.

MexicoPart of Duque's translation:

In this sense, the First Chamber determined that homophobic expressions or – in other words the frequent allegations that homosexuality is not a valid option but an inferior condition – constitute discriminatory statements even if they are expressed jokingly, since they can be used to encourage, promote and justify intolerance against gays.

For this reason, the Chamber determined that the terms used in this specific case – made up of the words "maricones" and "puñal" – were offensive. These are expressions which are certainly deeply rooted in the language of Mexican society but the truth is that the practices of a majority of participants of a society cannot trump violations of basic rights.

In addition, the First Chamber determined that these expressions were irrelevant since their usage was not needed in resolving the dispute taking place as related to the mutual criticism between two journalists from Puebla. Therefore it was determined that the expressions "maricones" and "puñal", just as they were used in this specific case, were not protected by the Constitution.

It should be noted that the First Chamber does not hold that certain expressions which could be taken as having homophobic intent in abstract can never be validly used in scientific research or in artistic works. That does not, in itself, imply employing hate speech.

Comments

  1. Michael says

    I remember the days when America used to pride itself on being more progressive than our neighbors.

    Odd, I haven’t heard that claim in over a decade.

  2. mickyflip says

    Well, one side of me feels this is awesome. But another side of me (the over-thinking side) wonders if this is a door to start banning things that can be taken out of context? Maybe I’m just over-thinking it due to our freedom to express and say what we want here in the states? Without fear of recrimination even if taken out of context?

  3. Randy says

    This will come in handy the next time someone like Bill Richardson tries to tell us it’s OK. The Supreme Court of a Spanish-speaking country ought to be a trustworthy authority on the actual meaning of Spanish words.

  4. Leo says

    @David, its not a restriction on the freedom of speech, you can always say what you want, its your right, but you can NOT call someone a faggot and then claim your right to say it is legally protected by the law…

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