Virginia State Prohibits Allegation of “Gay and Trans Panic” as Defense in Murder or Homicide Cases. It is the twelfth state in the country and the first in the south to end this measure.
Virginia ( USA ) has prohibited alleging as defense in cases of murder or homicide a figure known as “gay or trans panic” to partially or completely excuse these crimes against members of the LGBTQ collective. By passing this bill, introduced by its only transgender legislator, it becomes the twelfth state in the country and the first in the south to eliminate it.
The so-called “gay or trans panic” defense is a legal strategy that seeks to reduce the sentence “by blaming the murder on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, ” according to the Williams Institute, the ‘think tank ‘LGBTQ from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
The bill was introduced by Danica Roem, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the first openly transgender person to be elected to this position, and will take effect in July , according to CNN .
Roem explained to NBC News that she felt the need to present this proposal upon receiving a letter from an LGBTQ teenager urging her to remove this defense.
LGBTQ people represent 4.5% of the population in the United States, according to the Williams Institute, but they are the group that suffers the most from attacks motivated by prejudice , according to a recent study by Science Advances.
Also, for years, people who committed crimes against members of the LGBTQ community used “gay or trans panic” as a defense and frequently argued that the gender identity or sexuality of the victims caused them to commit a crime of passion.