‘LGBT Bar’ takes a stand against gay and trans ‘panic’ legal defensesAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Friday, February 28th, 2014
One year ago today, Marco McMillian, Mississippi’s first openly gay mayoral candidate, was murdered. His body was burned and abandoned at a levee. His family was left to mourn the loss of their only son.
Lawrence Reed was indicted by a Grand Jury on February 12 for the murder. The press indicated that Reed planned to use McMillian’s sexual orientation to mitigate the charges against him.
Gay and trans “panic” defenses are antiquated tactics which argue that a victim’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity are to blame for the defendant’s violent crime. Unfortunately, McMillian is just one of dozens of victims of these defenses. This sends a message to the LGBT community that their lives are worth less than others.
The LGBT Bar is the first organization that has taken a stand against gay and trans panic defenses. Our resolution, aimed at curtailing the use and effectiveness of the defenses, unanimously passed the ABA’s House of Delegates in August of 2013. It calls for legislative orders; jury instruction; and education for courts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the public about the harms perpetuated by the defenses.
Your membership dues will help us continue to advocate for equality for the LGBT community and fight to end the use of the gay and trans panic legal defenses. To join the LGBT Bar click here.
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=45525