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.