ISSUE

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community have faced violence and death at the hands of others, only for their assailants to justify their actions in court using the “gay/trans panic defense.”

This legal defense, which claims that a person’s sexual orientation or gender expression can trigger violence against another person, was debunked by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973. It is long past time for Texas to ban this discriminatory defense in favor of fairness and justice.

TAKE ACTION

The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee is holding a hearing on Monday, March 15, 2021, on Representative Gina Hinojosa’s HB 73, which would ban the gay/trans panic defense in Texas.

Every Texan can submit written comments on HB 73 in support of their LGBTQIA+ family members, friends, and neighbors. Here’s the link: https://comments.house.texas.gov/home?c=c220

You’ll put in your contact information and then select HB 73 by Hinojosa.

Here’s a suggestion of what to say, but feel free to tailor as you like.

“I support HB 73, a necessary response to a reprehensible legal defense. Gay and trans panic defenses allow perpetrators of LGBTQ murders to receive a lesser sentence, and in some cases, even avoid being convicted and punished, by placing the blame for a homicide on a victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s unacceptable; learning another’s identities does not place one in danger. It’s time to ban the gay/trans panic defense and pass this bill into law.”

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