ILLINOIS: Governor Signs Ban On “Gay Panic” Defense

MetroWeekly reports:

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed two bills into law that will help LGBTQ people achieve greater equality under the law. The first eliminates what is known as the “gay panic” defense in murder cases.

Historically, the “gay panic” defense is when a defendant claims that the murder victim was homosexual and made a pass at them, making them fear for their safety (or in some cases, their reputation or social standing). As a result, they claim they are justified in venting their rage or reacting violently in self-defense.

Gay panic or “trans panic” defenses have been utilized in several high-profile murders in recent decades, including those of Matthew Shepard, Brandon Teena, Marco McMillan, Gwen Araujo, and Angie Zapata.

Only California has also banned the “gay panic” defense. Rauner also signed a bill making Illinois the 15th state to allow trans persons to easily amend their birth certificates.

  • Todd20036

    Thanks Illinois. You get it

  • djcoastermark

    We need to have some good news like this to break up the seemingly endless bad news lately. Perhaps I should have dropped the word, seemingly.

  • Michael R

    Ivanka Trump : It is possible I sat in Putin’s chair

  • netxtown

    It is interesting that a “legal” defense for murder must be voided by state law. And then there was those sodomy laws that had to be voided by state law. I suppose we can thank all those good xtians for writing the laws, and I wonder how many more anti-icky laws the states have on the books?

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    Rauner has suddenly, mysteriously turned semi-reasonable in the last few days. What’s going on with him?

    • Tulle Christensen

      When is the next election?

      • S1AMER


    • Talisman

      Perhaps a child/grand child has just come out?

    • Rambie

      he’s up for re-election in 2018

    • DSR

      Perhaps he’s finally waking up and understands that if he has any prayer of being re-elected in spite of his years of stunning incompetence, he’s going to have start acting like a reasonable politician.

      • I’m still trying to figure out how he got elected to begin with. All I can come up with is that Pat Quinn was really, really unpopular.

        • Ninja0980

          Pat Quinn was really, really unpopular and with the Republican wave that year, was a goner.

    • AndyinChicago

      He got to screw over Chicago Public Schools. Rauner is a conservative, but he’s of the wealthy variety. He doesn’t really care about social issues other than to appease his base, which in many ways is more despicable. What he cares about is screwing the poor and helping the wealthy. His role in the budget and the school funding compromise were horrible, but he’s hiding both in the press with a bunch of bills that will bury the lead.

  • S1AMER

    It’s good to see this happening, of course — but disheartening to know such laws are necessary. And, of course, it’s oh-so-discouraging to see red states (and the Trump administration) still working hard on laws and policies to take away rights.

    We still have many, many battles to fight before we all have full equality. Y’all ready?

    • Todd20036

      It’s disheartening that we still have anti Sodomy laws on the books, but there it is.

      • Ninja0980

        Yup, only “good” thing is that in a couple of states like Kansas, the monsters who led the charge to keep the laws on the book are either gone now (Brownback) or are dead (Pauls), so there’s hope that if a Democrat takes over next year, we have a shot to finally get the laws off the book in Kansas.

  • Rauner also signed a new law that automatically registers Illinois residents to vote when they sign get or renew a driver’s license. So, when it comes to voting rights and gays, Rauner is one of the more sane Republicans than the many nut jobs in the GOP.

    • That_Looks_Delicious
    • Rambie

      Hardly, he’s up for reelection in 2018 so shifting left to pander for votes. the asshat has ruined Illinois budget.

      • The budget has been on the rocks for a decade, at least. I’m not crazy for Rauner, but that’s not something we can lay at his feet.

        • Rambie

          Yes certainly not all of it, much of it lays at the feet of the state legislature.

        • mwest

          This is the guy who’s defunding the Chicago schools because he’s trying to bust the unions here. He’s also the one who refused to sign a budget for over 2 years sending the state spiraling into even more debts. He may not have started Illinois budget problems but he’s certainly made it worse.

          These bills he’s signed is just pandering to try to get on the good side of the voters so he hopes we forget the mess he made of the state. He needs to go.

      • If he’s pandering, who gives a shite. He’s also signed into law enhancing LGBT representation on state boards and commissions, and modernizing state law so transgenders won’t have to undergo unnecessary surgical procedures to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates. There isn’t any Governor in any state that I know of that has signed 3 pro-gay laws within hours in the past years. Sometimes, we have to give credit. No, Rauner isn’t perfect but he’s a hell of a lot better than Greg Abbott of Texas who lays awake at night thinking of how to take away any gay rights.

    • Gene Perry

      Sorry, but “sane Republican” doesn’t really say much.

    • zhera

      I REALLY don’t understand the way voter registration is done in the US. Why aren’t all citizens of voting age automatically registered? Why must there be an extra step in that process?

      • SFnomad

        Because Democrats cherish the right to vote and RepubliCONs fear it.

        The more Republican a state is, the more hoops you have to jump through to be able to vote. And those hoops tend to target the poor and minorities, people that tend to vote Democratic.

    • Keith D Plane

      no not really him and the IL Senate and House have basically bankrupted the state with their budget battles. I from IL and recently returned for a visit and was amazed at bad things have gotten in IL.

      • The state was close to bankruptcy long before Rauner took office — Blagojevich, Quinn and now Rauner have tried to fix it, but can’t agree with the legislature what needs to be cut.

        • SFnomad

          Why is it when there are budget issues it’s “what needs to be cut” is the first thing that is said?

          California finally got Democrats in filibuster proof control of the legislature and they finally raised taxes … something RepubliCONs would not allow. California is now in very good shape fiscally because of this and raising taxes didn’t end the world as the CONs would like you to believe.

          • AJ

            The trouble is that Illinois won’t be able to tax its way out of this mess without some serious changes. For example, the state constitution would need to be amended to allow for a graduated income tax rather than a flat tax. Right now everyone feels the income tax pain in Illinois. Additionally, the property taxes are quite high here and only going up. Especially in Chicago.

            Due to that, Illinois has a tight rope to walk because the state isn’t currently growing and has actually lost 30,000 or 40,000 people since 2010. Chicagoland and isn’t growing either. Not just the city, but the whole metro area. Illinois just doesn’t have the same job opportunities and scenery that California has, so a lot of people would rather just leave.

            A move that will also need to happen, even though it’s political suicide, would be to amend the constitution to allow Illinois to tax the state’s pensions. It currently doesn’t, and the protections enshrined in the state constitution has stopped both the state and Chicago from being able to renegotiate them in a meaningful way.

  • Talisman

    I just saw some video footage of the Joel Osteen. Dude has serious gay face, which is exacerbated by the fact that he’s had work on his eyes.

    All funded by his god-fearing congregation, of course. Grifting in the name of god is a good gig, if you can get it.

    • OdieDenCO

      nothing like a man of god not accepting god’s handy work

    • Tread

      Joel Osteen is precisely the reason churches should be taxed. They’ve become a for-profit business, making money off the gullible and the desperate.

    • uhhuhh

      Wanna bet he has gay asshole too? 😉

  • worstcultever

    What’s with all the sudden sanity coming out of IL? Whatever – I’ll take it.

    Oh, and some fun OT – it might be too early for vodka, but it’s never too early for a thread full of Kleptanka-bashing for this wtf creepass tweet

    • Dave B

      A woman wearing “romantic details” to work may cause some men to grab their pussies, but those men shouldn’t worry, they can always blame the victim for inviting the attack with their “romantic details”.

    • olandp

      Nothing says competent woman like wearing a cocktail dress to work.

      • Dave B

        On the few occasions I catch a local news broadcast I always have to wonder why many of the woman are wearing cocktail dresses to work.

      • Amanda B. Rekendwith

        I just sent this to her company. Will post if there’s a response.

        I’ve heard that the branding will soon be changing to
        IvanKKKa, so that it’s much more in keeping with our princess’ values.
        I don’t want to be caught with last season’s label….that’s
        the kiss of death at any gathering.
        Can you please advise?
        Thx so much.
        Amanda B. Rekendwith

    • “Sudden sanity”? Illinois is fairly progressive, all things considered. We’ve legalized medical marijuana, banned SOCE, legalized equal marriage a couple years before Obergefell (and didn’t have to do to court to do it), are one of the states that guarantees trans rights as well as gay rights. In part this is because Democrats have dominated the state legislature for years, but also because Illinois Republicans are more on the order of Jim Thompson and Charles Percy than someone like Ted Cruz or Mike Pence.

      • Xuuths

        2009 Chicago, guy hooks up with another guy, then stabs him 60+ times, claims “gay panic” and the jury buys it. Not guilty. 2009, in “fairly progressive” Chicago. Which is exactly why we need this in the law.

        • Sorry, but horrible stories with no context don’t cut it: Illinois is second state to ban the “gay panic” defense, after California. And California only banned it in 2014. Your point? There has to be a point.

          And Chicago is more than “fairly progressive.” Half the time, Republicans don’t even bother to run for office here.

    • jmax
    • BobSF_94117

      Those child-laborers she has working for her are getting really sloppy. Look at all the failed stitches on the shoulders.

  • bambinoitaliano

    If women use the same defense there already be a lot of deserving dead pussy grabbers. How in a world these ‘victims’ can use such defense that not apply to another group? Considering the number of murders in the transgender community. We should use Nazi/KKK Panic defense, Heterosexual Panic defense, Christian Panic Defense and Republican Panic Defense. Since these group of people cause more harm and dead than any others.

    • zhera

      Women who try to use that same defense (straight man panic?) are punished extra for it, it seems. Battered women who kill in self-defense are sentenced to jail for decades, because they dared value their oen life over a man’s.

      • Ninja0980

        Or because they fought back the only way they could after the system that ends up punishing them with the max did nothing to protect them when they needed it most.

      • ColdCountry

        They use the argument that if a woman kills her abusive partner in his sleep, it can’t be self defense. The fact the he weighs twice as much, is taller and stronger, and this is the only way she has to get away from him is of no consequence.

    • Marti386

      “How in a world these ‘victims’ can use such defense that not apply to another group?”

      How? Because they’re cis straight men, that’s how. And the world is all about their feels.

    • Nowhereman

      I agree.

  • AndyinChicago

    Do not credit Rauner in any way for any of this legislation. He’s been messing with the legislature in order to try to dick over Chicago Public Schools, and these were just a compromise so that he could continue to really hurt Chicagoans economically. I’m glad for a number of bills he signed, but I hate being a bargaining chip.

    • In Springfield, everything is bargaining chip.

  • Rex

    I experience gay panic everyday. You’d think I’d be over it by now.

    • Sean Taylor

      I’m thinking theirs is a little less genuine, but that’s just me

  • zhera

    I weep for a world where such a ban is NEEDED.

  • Tread

    Too little, too late, Rauner. We’re coming for you and your greedy, selfish ass. You’ve driven Illinois into the ground. You are the proto-Trump, a billionaire “businessman” who was supposed to save government from itself. Looking forward to reading about you in jail.

    • Publius

      When something like 50% of recent IL governors have been convicted of corruption, a comment like yours is actually really probable.

  • TrueWords
  • ChiTownGuy

    Thank you Gov Rauner and team! Sad indeed that it was even necessary

  • The_Wretched

    It’s good because the ‘panic defense’ is bs; but I’m a little hesitant to have legislatures set what legal defenses a defendant may or may not use.

    • uhhuhh

      “I thought he was hitting on me, so I was reflexively driven to murder him.”

      If courts are willing to allow that thinly veiled use of bigotry to seek jury nullification of murder laws, we have no choice but to legislate.

  • ColdCountry

    Yeah, if straight women were allowed the defense of justifiably homicide for unwanted passes, the world would be littered with the corpses of dead straight men.

    • -M-

      Also, as I like to point out:
      If it’s reasonable to expect strait people to become dangerously violent if they think a gay or trans person is making a pass at them, then it would be equally reasonable for anyone, especially LGBTs, to kill a presumably strait person in self defense the moment they start acting weird.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Don’t forget Jonathan Schmitz and his murder of Scott Amedure. He just got out.

  • JWC

    they should all adopt such a law

  • Nowhereman

    Imagine if women just killed men who made unwanted passes at them.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    That such a law is even needed speak volumes.

  • James

    The gay panic defense still existed????

    • leastyebejudged

      In Illinois anyway.

  • leastyebejudged

    I think this law is following public opinion rather than leading, back when it would have actually mattered and done some good, but that’s what you always get when you have a nation that’s always lacked any real leadership.