SA Greens call to abolish ‘Gay Panic’ defence
The Greens have pledged to renew legislation to abolish the so-called ‘Gay Panic’ defence from South Australian law.
The defence allows for a murder charge to be downgraded to manslaughter if the accused can prove he was 'frightened’ into killing his victim because of a nonviolent sexual advance.
Greens Gender & Sexuality spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC introduced a bill to abolish the law in 2013, but it lapsed when Parliament rose for the last time in September.
“I will reintroduce my Bill to abolish the gay panic defence when Parliament resumes and challenge all sides of politics to publicly commit to support this,” Franks said.
Greens candidate for the seat of Adelaide Robert Simms (pictured) said the issue was particularly important in his electorate because of the high density of LGBTI people in the area.
“This kind of archaic and homophobic law is of concern to same-sex attracted people and their families and friends,” Simms said.
“The State Parliament should send a clear message that homophobia has no place in 21st century Adelaide.
“I challenge all candidates for the seat to commit to consign the ‘gay panic’ defence to the dustbin of history.”
The Gay Panic defence appears to have been used (unsuccessfully) in South Australia as recently as last year.