Target: Queensland Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie
Goal: End use of the legal defense that forgives homophobic aggression.
In the Australian state of Queensland, it is currently acceptable to claim ‘gay panic’ in defense of anti-gay hate crimes. This loophole partially justifies murder on the basis that the killer experienced panic from homosexual advances. This defense protects murderers and should be ended immediately.
It wasn’t long ago that a man was brutally beaten and stabbed to death because he touched his attacker in a manner that was interpreted as homosexual. After claiming gay panic, the murderer was acquitted. This is only one of many cases where this legal defense has deflected punishment for horrific crimes against the homosexual community. The antiquated law has been abolished in every other state in Australia, but the government of Queensland has so far refused. To continue the use of this legal defense not only allows killers to walk free, but is flagrantly discriminatory against the gay community. It suggests that homosexuality is a crime punishable by death, and a valid reason to attack a fellow human being.
The Queensland Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie has stated that the law will remain and does not need to be changed. This decision is a blatant refusal to protect the gay members of his community. By signing the petition below, you can demand that Bleijie end this bigoted legal practice.
Dear Attorney General Bleijie,
The ‘gay panic’ legal defense has been abolished in the rest of Australia for a good reason. Excusing violent crimes against homosexuals is a serious threat to human rights in Queensland. To say that this law is not a threat because of its lack of use is false — the law has been used in recent years to dismiss serious hate crimes. One man who brutally beat and stabbed another man to death for touching him recently walked away free of murder charges. Any individual capable of this type of violence against a person should be behind bars, and yet he remains a threat to human life.
You must recognize that the gay panic law has no place in modern, civilized society. The law makes a mockery of your legal system and encourages crimes of hate in your community. Please end this discrimination by abolishing the gay panic law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mike Babcock via Flickr.