Anti-Gay Slur ‘Maricon’ No Longer Protected Under Freedom of Speech Laws in Mexico

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Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that anti-gay slurs like “maricon” and “puñal,” are no longer protected under the country’s freedom of speech laws.

On March 6, the justices ruled 3 to 2 to that both terms were offensive and discriminatory after two Mexican journalists used the words to criticize each other’s work, according to Blabbeando.

“ ... 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,” read part of a statement released on the ruling by the high court.

“... 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.”

The National Council to Prevent Discrimination called the ruling a “substantive advance in the fight against homophobia in Mexico," according to the Washington Blade.

Parts of Mexico, including Mexico City, have gay-friendly workplace discrimination laws and allow same-sex unions. The country is also reportedly the first in the Western Hemisphere to allow gays to donate blood.