Democrats Seek Federal Ban On “Gay Panic” Defense

Chris Johnson reports at the Washington Blade:

The use of a panic defense to justify anti-LGBT violence in federal court will come to an end if new legislation introduced this week by a pair of Massachusetts Democrats becomes law.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) in the U.S. House and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in the U.S. Senate, is called the Gay & Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act and would ban the use of anti-LGBT panic defense from being cited as a legal defense in federal court.

In a statement to the Washington Blade — which has learned exclusively about the legislation — Kennedy said an admission of committing a violent crime against someone because they’re LGBT “is not a defense, it is a hate crime.”

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