WNY legislators pass legislation to ban “gay panic” defense

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Assembly members announced legislation has passed to band the use of “gay panic” and “trans panic” defense.

The legislation prevents a defendant from seeking to use a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity as an affirmative defense to murder.

“This bill insures the equal protection of people of all sexual orientations under our law and was long overdue. I’m proud to stand with my partners in government to make sure this dangerous legal strategy can no longer be used in New York State,” Assembly member Sean Ryan said. 

 Officials say the issue has been a top priority for the delegation.

This legislation would bar defendants from using the defense to seek a lesser sentence. 

Once it becomes law, New York will become the fifth state to ban the use of “gay panic” and “trans panic” in the courtroom, according to assembly members. 

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