"The gay and transgender panic defenses did not appear until the late 1960s, and rely on outdated ideas that homosexuality and gender non-conformity are mental diseases"
The passage of this bill makes California the first state in the country to prohibit the use of gay and transgender panic defenses through legislation.
“This bill not only changes the law in California, but creates a model for other states to follow to eliminate the use of gay and transgender panic defenses in other states,” said Brad Sears, Executive Director of the Williams Institute and Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law.
There are a number of examples in California and throughout the country of defendants arguing gay and transgender panic defenses in order to reduce their murder charges.
In these cases, defendants’ have argued that their violent behavior was a rational response to discovering that their victim was LGBT.
The use and acceptance of this defense signaled that violence against the LGBT community was understandable or acceptable.
“The gay and transgender panic defenses did not appear until the late 1960s, and rely on outdated ideas that homosexuality and gender non-conformity are mental diseases,” said Jordan Blair Woods, Williams Institute Law Teaching Fellow.
“Since then, the defense has appeared in court opinions in approximately one-third of the states.”
AB 2501 ensures that defendants cannot use gay and transgender panic defenses in an attempt to lower a charge from murder to manslaughter or to escape conviction in California.
Additionally, it ensures that such a defense cannot be used in cases of lesser charges, such as assault.
Discuss: Do you agree, disagree, or want to add an opinion on this topic - Click Here to comment.
Reports Trump Administration Plans to Rescind Transgender Students Guidance - HRC responds to media reports that Trump Administration plans to rescind guidance from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education regarding school obligations to transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments
Transgender Political Candidates Still Face Uphill Battle - Study reveals transgender political candidates and public officials are likely to face more opposition than lesbian, gay or bisexual candidates
Los Angeles LGBT Center Expands Services for Transgender People - LA LGBT Center announces expansion of its Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP), which empowers transgender individuals to secure jobs and become financially stable
No Difference in Outcomes Among Children Raised by Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Families - Study compared same-sex and different-sex parent households on child psychological well-being, parenting stress, and parents use of informal and formal support in child rearing
Guidance Protecting Transgender Youth and Young Adults From Discrimination Fact Sheet - Williams Institute fact sheet regarding U.S. Departments of Education and Justice withdrawal of legal guidance protecting transgender youth and young adults from discrimination in education
LGBTQ Advocates Condemn Shameful HB2.0 Proposal - New proposal introduced by Republican State Representative Chuck McGrady would prevent cities from passing meaningful non-discrimination protections