Tags: gay | panic | defense

'Gay Panic' Defense Eliminated in Unwanted Aussie Advances

Image: 'Gay Panic' Defense Eliminated in Unwanted Aussie Advances
Attorney General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath (Queensland Parliament)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 12:58 PM

The “gay panic” defense – resorting to violence when faced by “unwanted homosexual advances,” – has been removed from the criminal code by parliament in Queensland, Australia.

The defense enabled defendants to argue for a reduction from murder to manslaughter in a 2008 case on claims that the violence in question was sparked by such an advance, Fox News reported.

The case involved a 45-year-old Wayne Ruks who was killed by two men, Jason Pearce and Richard Meerdink, according to NBC 41 News.

Even though Ruks’ family disputed claims that Wayne was gay, the murder charges were reduced to manslaughter.

“The passing of this legislation sends an important message that discrimination is not acceptable and that we value the LBGTI community,” said Queensland Attorney General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath.

“Queensland’s criminal code must not be seen to condone violence against the gay community, or indeed any community.”

Father Paul Kelly, a Catholic priest, led the efforts to have the law changed, according to NBC.

“After five years of relentlessly campaigning for the gay panic defense for murder to be scrapped from the legal books in Queensland, I can today breathe a sigh of relief and accomplishment,” Kelly said.

Ruks’ mother, Joyce Kujala, has wanted to see this defense changed for years, but says it still doesn’t bring her son back.

“It can’t bring Wayne back, but it’s some small justice, and it could save a lot of lives in the future,” she said.

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The “gay panic” defense – resorting to violence when faced by “unwanted homosexual advances,” – has been removed from the criminal code by parliament in Queensland, Australia.
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2017-58-22
Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 12:58 PM
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