I signed this petition today: ’Eliminate the “gay panic” defence from Queensland law’. Queensland is a state in Australia which has the highest recorded rates of LGBT youth suicide as well as a high rate of LGBT hate crimes. Change.org reports that 73% of LGBT Queenslanders have experienced a form of verbal or physical assault due to their sexuality. The ‘gay panic’ law effectively institutionalises LGBT hate crimes and exonerates murder on the basis of homophobia. Campbell Newman writes on Change.org:
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 –affirmed by the High Court in the notorious Green case in 1997, when a man responded to “gentle touching” by brutally murdering his victim.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.