Virginia Becomes 12th State To Ban Gay And Trans Panic As A Defense For Murder

Yesterday Virginia became the first southern state to ban “gay and trans panic” as a defense for murder or manslaughter.

The LGBTQ+ panic defense scheme is a “legal” strategy that asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s vicious reaction, including murder.

This defense permits people charged with the killing of LGBTQ+ people to receive an inferior sentence by placing the fault on victims’ actual or recognized gender identity.

Signed by governor Ralph Northam last week, the bill will go into effect in July.