New Jersey could soon bar a legal defense tactic in murder cases known as “gay panic,“ under a bill the state Assembly approved on Monday without opposition or debate.
The defense has been used to attempt to downgrade charges against defendants who argued that they killed because they were provoked by the disclosure of the victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation.
According to the American Bar Association, eight states had barred the “gay panic” defense as of July 2019. New York was the most recent to do so, in June, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
The vote was 73-0. The bill now goes to the state Senate.