Thursday, 15 November 2007

The Hockey Star and Legal Action

Interesting story from Canada about a Hockey star - Jiri Tlusty. The 19yr old star found himself at the centre of an Internet storm after pictures were posted off him innocently touching tongues with a mate. One blog that posted the pics suggested the star was gay and found itself receiving a firm letter from the Lawyers (which they then published - see: The star also found naked pictures (which he'd taken with a camera phone and sent to his girlfriend) posted. A bit of Internet searching still produces the pics. The Hockey player released a statement denying he was gay or bisexual and the fact that he made such a statement and reacted in the way he did has actually provided the story and moved it to an international level. Would someone take legal action for being straight? This is particularly interesting in English Law and defamation - whereby it has to be demonstrated that claims were "detrimental" to someones character- is being gay "detrimental". Whilst this was not a legal action it does still feed into that position that to be accused of being gay is damaging. Had he been accused of liking smelly cheese would the bloggers of such a post have had the same legal onslaught? Probably not. Conceptions of sexuality remain a vital element of defining our status and societal relationships. If boundaries are ever to be challenged and/or removed our conceptions of sexuality must also be challenged.

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