Breaking News: Gay Panic Defence amendments pass Upper House
The days of using the 'gay panic defence' are drawing to a close, with a Bill passing through the Upper House this afternoon that amends the Crimes Act 1900 to remove the loophole which currently allows for lesser sentences for those who commit extreme acts of violence against gay men.
The Bill proposed by Fred Nile was successfully passed and now only has to pass through the Lower House to become law.
The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby had previously described the Homosexual Advance Defence (HAD), as extremely outdated and unjust.
HAD is a common law formulation of the partial defence of provocation, it enables the perpetrators of extreme violence against gay men to get away with lesser chargers.
NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby convenor Justin Koonin said: "If NSW Parliament votes to approve the suggested amendments it will close the loophole that has essentially allowed violent perpetrators to get away with lesser charges".
Koonin said he was delighted the Bill had passed the Legislative Council.
"It brings us one step closer to the demise of a legal defence that has no place in contemporary society."
Koonin was keen to acknowledge the hard work by community allies to bring the Bill to fruition.
"It is important to acknowledge the multi-partisan support for this reform. We would like to thank our long-term allies, including Trevor Khan MLC, Helen Westwood MLC and David Shoebridge MLC, who all sat on the inquiry committee and worked tirelessly on this issue.
"We note that support for this reform has also come from unusual quarters, including from the inquiry chair Rev Fred Nile."
Koonin urged the Legislative Assembly to pass the Bill as a matter of urgency "so that we can finally lay the Homosexual Advance Defence to rest in New South Wales”.