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Paula Deen: Lawsuit should be thrown out, citing same-sex marriage ruling

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   July 2, 2013 at 5:31 PM   |   Comments

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July 2 (UPI) -- Paula Deen has spent the last few weeks falling out of favor with the pieces of her empire -- the celebrity chef, 66, lost her show on Food Network and all of her endorsements with with QVC, Walmart, Smithfield Foods, Sears, Kmart, Target, Home Depot and Ballantine Books.

The downfall emanates from a federal lawsuit in which Lisa T. Jackson contends Deen used racial slurs on the job at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House. In the hearing, Deen admitted to using racial jokes and slurs.

While Deen's story unraveled in courts and the media, the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. In a completely unexpected coupling of ideas, Deen's lawyer claimed that, based on those decisions, Jackson's lawsuit should be thrown out.

Deen's attorney, William Franklin, argues that because Jackson is white and not black, she could not have suffered from Deen using the racial slur. Accordingly, Franklin said, Jackson has no standing in the case.

Franklin argued Monday that California's Proposition 8 law was rejected because those filing the appeal similarly did not have a "standing" in the fight, and would not be personally harmed by the legalization of same-sex unions.

Jackson rejected the argument, and said the lawsuit does not have to do with the specific slurs used. Instead, "it is to address Ms. Deen's patterns of disrespect and degradation of people that she deems to be inferior," Jackson said.

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