Virginia enacts landmark bill banning LGBTQ+ “panic” defence


State Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) has passed HB 2132 prohibiting the use of the gay and trans “panic” defence in Virginia.

The bill was introduced to challenge existing gay and trans panic defence laws that allow perpetrators to argue an individual’s sexual orientation (or gender identity) is the cause of violent behaviour.

HB 2132 argues that the belief of a person’s sex, gender or gender identity does not qualify as a defence to an act of murder, assault, or additional crime.

“The discovery of, perception of, or belief about another person’s actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation, whether or not accurate, is not a defence to any charge of capital murder …  assault and bodily wounding-related crimes and is not provocation negating or excluding malice as an element of murder,” the bill reads.

In a post earlier in the year, Roem explains her drive to get this Bill passed: “I’m working to pass HB 2132 to ban the gay/trans panic defence in Virginia, I’m reminded of the fear from the horrors that keep people closeted. That was me.”

Taking to Twitter, Roem announced the passing of the bill in a post: “As of today, my bill HB 2132 (2021) is now in effect.

“The LGBTQ+ panic defence is now prohibited in Virginia. (And, yes, this will apply to the murder in Blacksburg.)”

More than 12 states have now enacted a ban on the gay and trans “panic” defence including California, Colorado,  Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

Related: Virginia could become the 12th state to ban gay and trans “panic” defence





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By SAM DAMSHENAS

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