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UPDATE: Queensland’snew Attorney-General has just said in media they won’t end the “gay panic” defence — instead saying any change is “unnecessary”.
Please sign and share the petition now to tell Campbell Newman that his defence of the “gay panic” loophole is unacceptable, and it needs to be closed immediately.
A loophole in Queensland law allows people accused of murder to defend themselves in court by claiming “gay panic” — that is, if someone who they think is gay “comes onto” them, the sheer panic they feel is partial justification for murder.
This law belongs in the dark ages — but it was enshrined in Queensland law in 1997, when a man responded to “gentle touching” by ramming his victim’s head against a wall until he was unrecognisable, then stabbed him to death.
The killer’s argument was this: “Yeah, I killed the guy, but what he did to me was much worse.”
Just over two years ago, a man was murdered in my church’s grounds, and his killers used this same “gay panic” defence. They were eventually acquitted of murder. I’m utterly appalled that a law that so revoltingly and openly discriminates against gay people is still tolerated in a modern society. Laws like the “gay panic” defence are a crucial part of legitimising and reinforcing a culture of hate which means that 73% of gay and lesbian Queenslanders are subjected to verbal abuse or physical violence for their sexuality.
While almost all other state governments have abolished similar laws, and refuse to admit evidence of non-violent homosexual advances in murder trials, nothing has changed here. Queensland is now one of the last states upholding the idea that a person can be panicked enough by gay and lesbian people to justify murder. That’s why I am calling on the Queensland parliament and LNP leader Campbell Newman to eliminate this law as a partial defence for murder, and forbid non-violent homosexual advance being treated as evidence in any murder trial.
This situation cannot go on.
Please sign and help eliminate this antiquated, 17th century defence from our law books.