Outing could be a crime, Italian Supreme Court rules

The Corte di Cassazione decided on a case of a shop owner sueing a newspaper for an article indicating him as gay

Outing could be a crime, Italian Supreme Court rules
29 July 2012

There’s not a ‘public interest’ in outing a gay couple. So, a newspaper, writing a news story about two Italian shop owners, has committed a crime.

This is what the Corte di Cassazione (the Italian Supreme Court) has ruled discussing the case of a gay couple of an Italian country village.

According to the court ‘The outing of LGBT people in this case was not in the public interest. It went against privacy and defamation laws.’

The article at the centre of the discussions was about the story of a rich shop owner who fell in love with his male shop assistant.

After the love story, the shop owner left his wife and made the shop assistant a partner in his company.

The shop assistant then sued the newspaper. But the story had already spread in other newspapers and news agencies.

The characters of the story were described only with their jobs and first names. But, according to the court, ‘this was enough for the recognition by the readers coming from a small context.’

So, for the first time in Italy, the act of outing has been condemned by a court.

But, ruling the case, the Corte di Cassazione also said that ‘being gay is not an element to be hidden or denied, today. But everyone should choose when and how to reveal it.’ 

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