Can you be sued for defamation for calling someone "homophobic" if they use a derogatory term

Asked over 1 year ago - Brooklyn, NY

In an online discussion, I made the remark that someone had been 'openly homophobic', obliquely referencing an incident where he used a derogatory term for a gay person in another online discussion. i did not name the person who used the derogatory term. can i be sued for defamation?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Marco Caviglia

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . An opinion cannot form the basis of a claim for defamation, since expressions of an opinion false or not, libelous or not, are constitutionally protected and may not be the subject of private actions. There are a number of other reasons you are safe, also mentioned by the other attorneys.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for... more
  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is an opinion, not a false statement of fact required for defamation

  3. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Anyone can be sued but it does not sound like a good case. One, you didn't name the person. Two, truth is a defense (print out the earlier discussion. Three, you may have an opinion defense.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was... more
  4. Brian C. Pascale

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Anyone can sue anyone, but the question always comes down to whether they will win. These cases are typically taken on an hourly retainer. Unless the person has $10,000 to burn it is doubtful.

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does... more
  5. Tanya Marie Bachand

    Contributor Level 15

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Technically, anybody can be sued for anything, but that doesn't mean it has merit or will get very far. Calling someone homophobic is an opinion, its not actionable

    This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  6. Christopher Patrick Ulrich

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . As stated, "you can be sued for anything." From the limited information it sounds like your opinion and not a statement of fact. While you say you didn't name the person, if it was an online discussion and you were referring to an offline event, then those in the online discussion would have no way of knowing who you were referring to - again, in your favor.

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