The House today passed Representatives Leslie Herod and Matt Soper’s bipartisan bill to ban the use of the gay and trans panic defense. The House vote was 49-19. 

“It’s long past time to ban this trans and homophobic defense tactic, “ said Rep. Herod, D-Denver. “A victim’s gender, gender identity or gender expression should never be used to blame a victim for the crime committed against them. We all have the right to a fair trial, and this defense is anything but fair.” 

The gay and trans panic defense is a legal tactic that has been allowed as a legal defense but that aims to play on the prejudice of jurors against LGTBQ people. HB20-1307 states that evidence about a defendant’s knowledge or discovery of a victim’s gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation can no longer be asserted as a legal defense constituting ‘sudden heat of passion’ in a criminal case. 

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