Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation making New Jersey the ninth state to ban the use of “gay and trans panic” legal defenses.
The governor’s office wrote: “Defendants have successfully argued that gay or trans panic constitutes heat of passion provocation in order to reduce charges of murder to manslaughter. Under this law, a defendant would be prohibited from using a victim’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression or affectional or sexual orientation as a heat of passion defense to murder in New Jersey courts. Primary sponsors of this legislation include Assemblymembers John Mckeon and Joann Downey and Senators Joe Lagana and Vin Gopal.”
Said Murphy in a statement: “We will always stand with our LGBTQ+ community and promote full equality for all our residents. Gay and trans panic defenses are rooted in homophobia and abhorrent excuses that should never be used to justify violence against vulnerable populations. With this new law, we are enacting critical measures to protect our friends and neighbors in the LGBTQ+ community.”