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08:13 | 26th March 2017

News: World

Wed 1 Oct, 2014
By Robert Ingham


their attorneys unsuccessfully argued for a conviction for manslaughter, citing overwhelming anger at what was then referred to as “sexual deception.”

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California Bans Gay and Trans Panic Defenses for Anti-LGBT Violence

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It’s been a banner summer for progressive action in California. Just a few weeks ago, California became the first state in the US to push their state universities to adopt more rigorous standards for what constitutes sexual consent. Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed the “Respect After Death” law that will help ensure trans people are able to have their gender accurately reflected on their death certificate. Yesterday marked another important historic first for the state when Brown he signed AB2051, a bill banning the “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses for assaulting or murdering members of the LGBTQ community.



The gay and trans panic concepts seem to come up very frequently when a hate crime is committed against a queer person, and it’s been at least partially employed in some of the most heinous murders of LGBTQ people in the last 20 years. When Gwen Araujo, an 18-year-old trans woman and the inspiration for the International Transgender Day of Rememberance, was brutally beaten to death in 2002 by four men who discovered she was trans, their attorneys unsuccessfully argued for a conviction for manslaughter, citing overwhelming anger at what was then referred to as “sexual deception.”

In 2008, when another 18-year-old-trans woman, Angie Zapata, was beaten to death, her murderer also claimed it was a “crime of passion” after discovering that Zapata was trans. Earlier this year, a man charged with the beating of two trans women in Atlanta similarly invoked the defense, and was only charged with a misdemeanor.

Unfortunately, this list could go on and on with examples of attempted justification for anti-queer hate crimes. Even more unfortunately, the argument does occasionally work.

Source: Autostraddle.com

To read more, click www.autostraddle.com/no-excuses-california-bans-gay-and-trans-panic-defenses-for-anti-lgbt-violence-256734/

 

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