Democrats have reintroduced a bill from last year which would ban the use of the ill-named “gay and trans panic defense” used in cases which include violence towards members that are a part of the LGBTQ community.
This defense is a usable excuse across the United states save for four states, Illinois, California, Rhode island, and most recently, Nevada.
According to NewNowNext, if passed, the bill would no longer allow the use of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity to be used as a defense for an attack against a victim, whether it be real or perceived.
The duo of Senator Ed Markey and Representative Joe Kennedy III originally introduced the bill last year, hoping to gain favorable traction for it to be passed into law this year.
“As long as [the] gay and trans panic defenses are allowed in our state and federal courts, the LGBTQ community will be deprived of the justice all Americans deserve. With four states already implementing bans, we have the federal momentum to outlaw this bigoted legal practice across the country.” said Kennedy in a joint statement with Markey.
“Claiming a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity justify murder or assault expressly tells entire segments of our society that their lives are not worthy of protection,” said Kennedy.
Many advocate groups, including The LGBT Bar Association, have voiced support for this bill and its deliberation for the coming weeks. If passed the bill would be a new milestone in fostering justice and equality for the LGBTQ community.