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Hawai‘i Looking to Ban ‘Gay Panic’ & ‘Transgender Panic’ as Affirmative Defense

January 25, 2019, 9:20 AM HST
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The LGBT Caucus of Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, the state’s only LGBTQIA-focused political, legislative and/or advocacy organization, is extremely hopeful that the 2019 Hawai‘i Legislature will ban “Gay Panic” & “Transgender Panic” as an affirmative defense with the introduction of three separate bills— Senate Bill 2 (SB2), Senate Bill 342 (SB342) and House Bill 711 (HB711).

These three bills would prohibit a defendant from “claiming that discovery, knowledge or disclosure of a victim’s gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation resulted in extreme mental or emotional disturbance sufficient to reduce a charge of murder to a charge of manslaughter…”

Sen. Stanley Chang is the primary introducer for SB2, Sen. Michelle Kidani introduced SB342 and Rep. Chris Lee introduced HB711, said the LGBT Caucus press release.

“We are very grateful that there are so many chances to ban this archaic affirmative defense.” said Michael Golojuch Jr., chair of the LGBT Caucus. “By allowing this defense to be available it says that the LGBTQIA community can be killed by bigots and the bigots can get away with a reduced sentence.”

Currently California, Rhode Island and Illinois are the only states that bar these types of affirmative defenses, although Connecticut has legislation pending.

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