Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 2501, legislation that removes “gay panic” as a defense that would reduce homicide charges to manslaughter. No longer will killers be able to claim they were acting from panic or passion when they killed someone who they either knew or found out was gay or transgender. Now they will face the full charges for their crime, just as if they had killed a heterosexual person. No more “momentary insanity” claims because someone of the same gender (or transgender) made a pass (or you thought they made a pass) at you.
Local representatives Senator Jean Fuller and Assembly woman Connie Conway both voted no on the legislation. Requests on the day following the vote in Sacramento last August to each, asking them to explain their no votes, have gone unanswered. Senator Fuller’s office did place a phone call to me last Friday, after I posted this follow up blog, and Tweeted directly to both, but has not replied to my email response as of this posting. It’s illuminative to notice that every NO on the August 27 vote was made by a Republican. Not a single Democrat voted against. I would sincerely like to hear why my GOP representatives would vote NO on this bill. I don’t understand the thinking that would lead them to do so, and some explanations would be welcome.
California is now the only state that bans the “gay panic” defense. It is hoped that other states will now follow our lead, as they did with the banning of “reparative” therapy for minors.