Abolish the gay panic defense in Georgia
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Pass HB 931!
Gay Panic Defense
The U.S. has come a long way in terms of LGBTQ+ rights; however, we still have work to do. Hate crimes against the LGBT community are unfortunately still taking place, and there is a way to justify these crimes. In the occurrence of a murder of an LGBT person, the defendant can use the gay panic defense. With this defense, the defendant can claim he/she was so terrified by a homosexual advance that he/she acted in a state of temporary violence and panic. As a result of using the gay panic defense, the defendant can get his/her sentence downgraded from murder to manslaughter. This defense further justifies the hate crimes committed against the LGBT community. The plaintiff’s sexual orientation should not make a difference in the sentencing of the defendant. A legal defense that justifies violence against someone because of his/her orientation should not be tolerated. Not only this, but to use the gay panic defense would be unconstitutional. The 14th amendment states that every citizen of the U.S. is entitled to equal protection under the law.
If we abolish the gay panic in Georgia, we can further protect the LGBT community from poorly justified hate crimes. The gay panic is currently active in 48 states, as California and Illinois have already abolished it. Our hope is that eventually, the gay panic will be abolished in the U.S. as a whole. Every little bit helps; we can start with Georgia. Please, do your part to help stop discrimination against the LGBT community.
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