Doctor who said homosexuality is ‘a disease’ cleared in defamation lawsuit
An Italian doctor who proclaimed that homosexuality is “a disease” has been cleared in a defamation lawsuit.
Dr Silvana De Mari was sued by the LGBT group Torino Pride, which accused her of defamation by declaring that being gay is an illness.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office has now cleared the doctor of the charges of defamation after months of deliberation.
The charges were dismissed after the Prosecutor’s Office stated that it was impossible to determine who may have suffered due to her claims.
She had defended the claims by saying it is not normal to be gay.
She said: “I have three specialties: psychotherapy, medicine and surgery… I have been taking care of homosexual persons for 40 years.”
Despite that the doctor’s stance on homosexuality has been a matter of public record for some years, she more recently caused controversy when she said: “Gays live a tragic condition.”
The words had been denounced as homophobic by LGBT groups.
And the lawyer acting for Torino Pride, Nicolo Ferraris, has said that the words said by De Mari don’t constitute opinion but rather hate speech towards the LGBT community.
He said: “The offences pronounced publicly by De Mari are aimed at LGBT movements and not only at LGBT people, and they are not opinions but offences.”
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A Parisian court last year ruled that using the term homophobe to describe somebody is defamatory, despite context.
The ruling comes as Laure Pora, former president of the Paris branch of ACT UP was ordered to pay €800 to the anti-LGBT group La Manif Pour Tous.
On top of that Pora had to cough up the €1500 in judicial costs.
ACT UP staged a protest in 2013 against the Jerome Lejeune Foundation. A pro-life foundation which provide research, care and advocacy for people with genetic intellectual disabilities.
The protest was staged because of the foundations support for La Manif Pour Tous and because they employed Ludivine La Rochère, the founder of the group.
Activists threw condoms filled with fake blood at the wall of the office, and carried posters showing images of La Rochère and La Manif with homophobe printed on them.
La Manif Pour Tous oppose same-sex marriage, adoption rights for same-sex couples, transgender people and gender theory.