Tort Law

Gay Marriage Blurb Brings Suit

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Two men are suing American University for publishing an announcement in an alumni magazine that said they had married each other.

In a suit filed Aug. 30 in Manhattan federal court, Ross Weil and Brett Royce say the blurb defamed them because the false statement “imputes homosexual behavior” between the two men, the New York Post reports. The class notes section of American Magazine said the men, who were college buddies, had married in Boston in June 2006.

Also false was an assertion that Weil was “chief operating officer of the Gay Rights Brigade,” the suit says. It seeks $1.5 million in damages.

The lawyer for the two men, Michael Kaufman, said the publication did not call his clients to check out the information. “Obviously, neither of my clients submitted it,” he said.

Melissa Reichley, class notes editor for the newsletter, told the Post the school checks information before publishing but would not comment on the lawsuit.

Smoking Gun posted a copy of the announcement and the lawsuit.

American University is not the only school accused of running a false announcement. Yale Alumni Magazine recently retracted a note about a graduate’s “coming out party,” Inside Higher Ed reports. The editors were fooled when the originator of the item set up a fake e-mail account to verify the submission.

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