A bill banning the "gay panic" or "transgender panic" defense is advancing in the Legislature. Currently, a person accused of a crime can claim a victim's sexuality, gender expression, or gender contributed to the crime.
This could include a suspect saying that they acted in self-defense after receiving unwanted advances from an LGBTQ+ person.
House Bill 4718 states that knowing or discovering this about a person "is not a justification for using force against them and does not meet criteria necessary for the act to be considered voluntary manslaughter (as opposed to murder) or to raise a defense of insanity." This includes when a victim makes "an unwanted nonforcible romantic or sexual advance" toward the suspect.
The House passed the bill along party lines earlier this week, with Democrats voting for it and Republicans voting against it.
This bill now heads to the Senate.