We urge you to you pass the proposal that would eliminate claims of "Gay Panic" and "Trans Panic" as valid legal defense in U.S. courtrooms at your annual meeting in August 2013.
These claims have been used to justify acts of extreme violence through false reasoning. They place the blame of an attack on the victims, claiming that the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity is what caused the violence, not the choices of the perpetrator.
There is no scientific evidence to back up these defense statements, and when used in court they are inaccurate, discriminatory, and attempt to justify extreme forms of hate violence. If the U.S. Judicial System intends to hold a reputation of creditablity, these defenses must be banned immediately.
This petition closed almost 3 years ago
In 1998, 22-year-old Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and murdered by two men for being gay. In their court proceedings, the defendants claimed innocence by using the "gay panic" defense. This...
In 1998, 22-year-old Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and murdered by two men for being gay. In their court proceedings, the defendants claimed innocence by using the "gay panic" defense. This declaration of "gay panic" claimed that the perpetrators were temporarily insane and out of control of their actions due to sexual advances that were made by the victim.
Despite their claim, the two offenders in this case were convicted of their crime, but this story emphasizes the extreme need to remove the "Gay Panic" defense from U.S. courtrooms immediately.
In August, the American Bar Association will vote on a proposal to remove this statement from those accepted in defense cases. We need your help to put pressure on the ABA to make sure they hold the perpetrators of hateful violence accountable for their actions to the fullest extent of the law.
Please sign this petition today and share this story with your friends.