One more US state has properly defended LGBTQ people from the terrible gay/trans panic defense.
Lawmakers within the state of New York passed a ban this past Wednesday on using the “gay panic” and “trans panic” defense in homicide cases. This eliminates the chance of defense attorneys using the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity as an excuse for their murder.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill as he has already announced support for the motion. Earlier this month, the governor expressed that the bill was on top of his priority list for the month.
“With only seven days remaining in the legislative session, there are still two very important issues we need to pass – legalizing surrogacy and banning the gay and trans panic defense. And we need to get these done now because New York is the diversity capital of the nation and we believe that diversity is our greatest strength. We celebrate it, we don’t fear it. We believe the strongest four letter word is love, and we are going to stand up in the name of love, community, acceptance, tolerance, and we are going to show this nation the way forward. That is the best way to start World Pride, with getting these proposals passed and New York once again leading the way,” the governor said in an official statement.
The governor then tweeted out his approval of state lawmakers finally banning the legal practice.
“This is an important win for LGBTQ people everywhere and it is made all the more meaningful as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which set in motion the modern day LGBTQ rights movement,” he shared on Twitter.
The ban on the 'gay and trans panic' legal defense just passed!
With the enactment of this measure we are sending this noxious legal defense strategy to the dustbin of history where it belongs.
This is an important win for LGBTQ people everywhere. pic.twitter.com/xMpXZfvnDT
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 19, 2019
This decision comes at a time when hate crimes against LGBTQ people are on the rise in the state and country. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs recorded 52 reported homicides related to LGTBQ people in 2017. In addition, 11 American trans women have been murdered in 2019 so far.
Hopefully, more states will follow New York’s lead and LGBTQ people will get the protection we so desperately need.