DC considers banning ‘gay panic’ defense

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) | The Washington, D.C., Council is considering legislation that would bar people charged with violent offenses from claiming they acted in self-defense after learning the victim was gay or transgender.

WTOP-FM reports Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced the “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Panic Defense Prohibition Act of 2019” last week, saying it’s unacceptable for “bigots to claim panic as a defense.”

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N.Y. becomes eighth state to ban ‘gay panic’ defense

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a ban on gay panic defense. Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Amid celebrations of WorldPride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a measure banning the use of trans and gay panic as a legal defense.

Cuomo penned his name to the legislation Sunday during a signing ceremony with LGBT advocacy leaders who supported passage of the ban on gay and trans panic defense in court.

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Connecticut governor signs bill banning ‘gay panic defense’

By : Wire Report
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) | Connecticut’s governor signed legislation June 21 banning use of the so-called “gay or trans panic” defense in criminal cases.

The defense is a controversial legal strategy that seeks to use a victim’s sexual orientation or identity as justification for a violent crime. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said that implies the life of a gay or transgender person is valued less than others and Connecticut won’t allow homophobia and transphobia to justify violent crime.

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New York Gov. Cuomo: Eliminate ‘gay panic’ defense

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) | New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants lawmakers to pass a new law ensuring people who attack or kill a gay person can’t beat the charge by arguing they panicked because of their victim’s sexuality.

Under current law, defendants can attempt to excuse violent attacks by arguing they were under extreme emotional distress.

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Activists to copy Illinois ‘gay panic defense’ ban elsewhere

By : wire report
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CHICAGO (AP) — Starting in January, Illinois will bar a rare criminal defense allowing the use of a victim’s sexual orientation as justification for violent crime, a ban gay rights advocates say they will attempt to replicate in about half a dozen states next year.

Defense attorneys will no longer be able to mount the so-called “gay panic defense” in Illinois, the second state after California to prohibit the tactic. It isn’t common, but one study shows it has surfaced in about half of all U.S. states and has been used with some success. Advocates say bans are necessary because crimes against gay and transgender people are on the rise, but some attorneys remain skeptical, calling the ban politically motivated and unnecessary because the old-fashioned defense wouldn’t hold up in court today.

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