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Hawaii next in line to ban ‘gay panic’ defense

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(Image by succo from Pixabay)

HONOLULU — Hawaii will become the latest state to ban the “gay/trans panic” defense once the governor signs a bill outlawing it.

MauiNow reported that Hawaii Gov. David Ige is scheduled to sign House Bill 711 into law on Wednesday afternoon. It will be the sixth state to ban the practice. New York State and Connecticut both passed bills banning the defense and just need governors’ signatures.

From MauiNow:

HB711 “Amends the affirmative defense of extreme mental or emotional disturbance to murder or attempted murder by prohibiting explanations based solely on the defendant’s discovery, defendant’s knowledge, or the disclosure of the victim’s gender, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.”

Futher, HB711, “Requires the court to instruct the jury to disregard bias and prejudice if a defendant’s explanation includes the discovery of a victim’s gender, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.”

According to MauiNow, Ige will also sign a bill that will add “X” as a gender marking for the state’s drivers licenses. 

A bill to ban the “gay/trans panic” defense nationally was introduced in Congress in early June. Illinois has banned it since 2017.

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